People who want to reduce their risk of colon cancer may want to cut down on red meat and alcohol and exercise more, according to a new scientific review from Australia.
In this current analysis, which looked at more than 100 previous studies on colon cancer risk factors, researchers reported that lifestyle factors - especially diet - are key factors in the prevention of colon or colorectal cancer.
Overall, high intake of red and processed meats, smoking, obesity and type 2 diabetes were all linked to a 20 percent increase in the risk of colorectal cancer. In contrast, people who exercised the most had a 20 percent lower risk of the disease than their sedentary counterparts.
Compared with adults who were light drinkers or teetotalers, people who averaged a drink a day or more had a 60 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer across all the studies included in this review.
The researchers noted that type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity and both can be prevented through a healthy diet that high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean sources of protein.
"Colorectal cancer is a disease of lifestyle and that changing inappropriate behaviors now - such as reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking and losing weight -- has the potential to substantially reduce a person's risk of the disease," concluded the lead researcher in the July 2009 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.
According to Colon Cancer Canada, an estimated 21,500 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed last year. Close to 9,000 Canadians lost their lives to this cancer in that same year.
Do you have lifestyle factors that may lead to colon cancer? Click here for information on how you can make dietary changes right now to lower your cancer risk.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.