Last Updated on Feb 08, 2019

Diet and Colorectal Cancer: An Overview

Colorectal cancer also known as colon cancer, bowel cancer or rectal cancer is any cancer that affects the colon and the rectum. They are a part of the large intestine which forms the final stretch of the digestive tract, and helps in removal of waste products and absorption of water and certain nutrients.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide. Studies have reported that diet plays a crucial role in the etiology of colorectal cancer, particularly when a poor diet is combined with excess calorie intake and weight gain, physical inactivity, and unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and heavy alcohol consumption which increase risk of cancer.

Therefore, dietary and lifestyle modifications are winning strategies to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer.

How Does Diet Impact Colorectal Cancer?

Eating a wholesome and nutritious diet can prevent the risk of colorectal cancer or it can even speed up the process of recovery. On the other hand, eating an unhealthy diet can simply push you towards the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Because this type of cancer involves a part of the digestive tract, the nature of the food has a great impact on the health of the colon and rectum. It is postulated that certain diets increase colon cancer risk by affecting the immune system as well as inducing a state of inflammation.

References:

  1. Diet and colorectal cancer- Review of the evidence - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2231486/)
  2. Nutrients, Foods, and Colorectal Cancer Prevention - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4409470/)
  3. Whole grain consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a population-based cohort of 60 000 women - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2362029/)
  4. A pooled analysis of alcohol intake and colorectal cancer - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509170/)
  5. Types and amount of dietary fat and colon cancer risk: Prevention by omega-3 fatty acid-rich diets - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2723490/)
  6. Trans-Fatty Acid Consumption and its Association with Distal Colorectal Cancer in the North Carolina Colon Cancer Study II - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809818/)

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