Welcome to Weekly Health Update
"A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers..."
By, Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
The information in this column is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice or recommendations by the author. Please consult with your physician before making any lifestyle or medication changes, or if you have any other concerns regarding your health.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE HABITS THAT DECREASE COLORECTAL CANCER RISK
In the United States, approximately 106,000 people will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010, and nearly 50,000 people will die of this disease. Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer (excluding skin cancer) in both men and women, and the third most common cause of cancer death in men and women. Unlike many other types of cancer, an effective method of screening for colorectal cancer is available, in the form of colonoscopy. Fortunately, the incidence of this cancer has been gradually declining over the past 20 years, due in great part to the early detection, and removal, of precancerous polyps from the colon and rectum at the time of colonoscopy.
The links between specific lifestyle choices and the risk of developing certain types of cancer forms much of the basis of my new book, “ A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.” The risk of developing colorectal cancer, in particular, has been strongly linked to multiple dietary and other lifestyle factors. Now, a newly published public health research study from Denmark puts a number on the effectiveness of commonly recommended cancer prevention lifestyle strategies in preventing colorectal cancer.
In this study, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, 55,487 men and women between the ages of 50 and 64 were prospectively followed for an average of 10 years. Each of these Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study volunteers completed validated surveys regarding their social status, health status, reproductive history, and daily lifestyle habits. They also completed a food frequency questionnaire that included, among its 193 items, foods known to be associated with colorectal cancer risk (including alcohol). All study participants also underwent physical examinations that included measurements of their height, weight, and waist circumference. During the course of this large prospective public health study, 678 participants were newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
All study volunteers were assessed in terms of 5 modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors that have repeatedly been linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer risk: Increased levels of regular physical activity, avoidance of obesity, abstention from tobacco use, minimal intake of alcohol, and the observance of healthy diet habits (including increased fiber intake, decreased dietary fat content, decreased red meat and processed meat consumption, and increased fresh fruit and vegetable intake). Based upon only these 5 simple colorectal cancer risk factors, the adoption of any one of these 5 colorectal cancer prevention factors was associated with a 13 percent decrease in the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Among participants who generally observed all 5 lifestyle and dietary prevention factors, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was reduced by 23 percent. (Of note, while this observed reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer was noted for both colon cancer and rectal cancer, this finding was only statistically significant for cancer of the colon, specifically.)
The results of this large prospectively conducted public health study reaffirm the findings of previous studies, in that the risk of colorectal cancer can be significantly reduced by: Engaging in regular moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding tobacco use, minimizing alcohol consumption, and by reducing the intake of red meat and processed meats and fat, while simultaneously increasing the consumption of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grain foods. For a more detailed evidence-based guide to colorectal cancer prevention, order or download your copy of “ A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race ” now.
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For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, and other types of cancer, order your copy of my new book,“ A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” fromAmazon,Barnes & Noble,Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit our premier global health information website every month. (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physicianbeforemaking any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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Copyright 2007 - 2010
Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
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Dr. Wascher's Archives:
10-14-2010: Gum Disease (Gingivitis) and Breast Cancer Risk
10-3-2010: Mammograms Between 40 and 49 Years of Age
9-19-2010: Fruits and Vegetables Improve Memory
9-12-2010: Low-Carb Diet and Risk of Death
8-1-2010: Physician Error
7-25-2010: Obesity and Cancer Risk
6-27-2010: Soy, Curcumin & Prostate Cancer Risk
5-30-2010: Medical Research Studies & “Spin”
5-9-2010: Soy Foods & Stomach Cancer Risk
4-18-2010: Coffee Improves HDL Cholesterol Levels
3-28-2010: Aspirin & Breast Cancer Survival
3-21-2010: Obesity, Alcohol & Liver Disease
3-14-2010: Nuts, Diet & Obesity
2-28-2010: Soy Isoflavones & Recurrent Prostate Cancer
2-14-2010: Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Sodas & Juice
1-31-2010: Concord Grape Juice Improves Memory
1-24-2010: Mozart, Music, Babies & Health
1-17-2010: Breast Cancer, Physical Therapy & Lymphedema
1-3-2010: Ginkgo Biloba, Memory & Cognitive Health
12-20-2009: CT Scans & Cancer Risk
11-29-2009: Exercise & Prostate Cancer Risk
11-22-2009: Genistein (Soy Isoflavone) & Prostate Cancer
11-15-2009: Breast Cancer Treatment & Chronic Pain
1-8-2009: Vitamin D & Breast Cancer Risk
11-1-2009: Exercise & Prostate Cancer Risk
10-25-2009: HPV Virus & Risk of Breast Cancer
10-11-2009: Vitamin D & Falls in the Elderly
10-4-2009: Surgery, NSQIP, Complications & Death
9-27-2009 Stress, Heart Disease, Exercise & Death
9-20-2009: Vitamin D & Colorectal Cancer Survival
9-13-2009: H1N1 Swine Flu Update
9-7-2009: Green Tea, Aging & Lifespan
8-30-2009: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Diet & Fiber
8-23-2009: Update on Prostate Cancer and Cryotherapy
8-2-2009: Honesty, Dishonesty & Brain Function
7-26-2009: Coronary Artery CT Scans & Cancer Risk
7-12-2009: Breast Cancer & Metformin (Glucophage)
7-5-2009: Prostate Cancer & Green Tea
6-21-2009: Red Yeast Rice, Statins & Cholesterol
6-7-2009: Diet, Soy & Breast Cancer Risk
5-31-2009: Diet and Prostate Cancer Risk
5-24-2009: Diabetes, Glucose Control & Death
5-10-2009: Hemorrhoids & Surgery
4-26-2009: Are We Really Losing the War on Cancer?
4-19-2009: Exercise in Middle Age & Risk of Death
4-12-2009: Can Chronic Stress Harm Your Heart?
3-15-2009: Depression, Stress, Anger & Heart Disease
10-26-2008: Smoking & Quality of Life
10-19-2008: Agent Orange & Prostate Cancer
10-12-2008: Pomegranate Juice & Prostate Cancer
9-21-2008: Does Tylenol® (Acetaminophen) Cause Asthma?
4-27-2008: Stents vs. Bypass Surgery for Coronary Artery Disease; The “DASH” Hypertension Diet & Cardiovascular Disease Prevention; Testosterone Therapy for Women with Decreased Sexual Desire & Function
4-6-2008: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Pap Smear Results & Cervical Cancer; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection & Oral Cancer; Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) & the Risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
12-16-2007: Honey vs. Dextromethorphan vs. No Treatment for Kids with Night-Time Cough, Acupuncture & Hot Flashes in Women with Breast Cancer, Physical Activity & the Risk of Death, Mediterranean Diet & Mortality