Colorectal cancer causes the most cancer-related deaths in the United States overall in men and women, second only to lung cancer. Some research studies have shown that a diet high in fat, proteins, meat, and calories can increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Other research studies have not agreed, making it difficult to determine diet’s relationship to colorectal cancer risk.
We do know that obesity is linked with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Exercising often and eating a diet low in animal fats, high in whole grains, with lots of vegetables and fruits will help maintain a healthy weight. Having polyps removed during colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy from the colon and rectum will also lower your risk of colorectal cancer. People age 50 and over should have a sigmoidoscopy every five years and/or a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Risk of colorectal cancer increases after age 40, and consumption of both tobacco and alcohol can also increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Research is still ongoing to determine if vitamins such as Vitamin D and folic acid, statins (drugs that lower cholesterol), or diet has an effect on the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
For more information about colorectal cancer or any cancer concern, contact the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center/Cancer Information Service:
Walk-in: 200 Hawkins Drive, 4802 JPP
Iowa City, Iowa