Health Team

Fatty Foods Could Boost Colon Cancer Risk

Posted August 14, 2007

— A new study has shown a link between diet and colon cancer.

Stage 3 colon cancer patients with high-fat diets were three times more likely to have recurrent cancer – or die – compared to patients who ate less fatty food, according to a study published in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"It's really not increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables, but really trying to reduce the amount of red meat intake and fatty foods and sugary, 'desserty' foods. That seems to be protective for colon cancer recurrences and survival, said Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the author of the study.

More than 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer annually, meaning cancer is present in the colon and lymph nodes, which increases the risk of recurrence.

Researchers studied eating patterns – Meyerhardt calls the fatty diet a "Western pattern diet" – cancer recurrence and survival among about 1,000 Stage 3 colon cancer patients.

"The biggest surprise (of the study) is actually the impact that a Western pattern diet seems to have," he said.

Cutting back on Western pattern foods is no guarantee of staying cancer free, he said, but improved outcomes are more likely if Stage 3 colon cancer patients eat lots of fish, chicken and brown rice and less red meat.

"To cut down from one steak a week to one steak a month is not a big deal," said John Coughlin, 55, who has been battling Stage 3 cancer for four years.


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  • mrtwinturbo Aug 16, 2007

    I just get plain tired of reading or hearing about a product that "might" or "could" cause cancer, when you all out there discover something that "DOES" cause cancer let us know then...Thanks

  • Out3r LX Aug 15, 2007

    if you stopped eating everything they said was bad for you..youd starve

  • PikeMom Aug 15, 2007

    Everything causes Everything. Just eat in moderation,and keep that ticker flowing with at least some form of exercise.

  • shine Aug 15, 2007

    METAMUCIL ! The "M" Vitamin.

  • doodad Aug 15, 2007

    It takes more time for the digestive system to digest meats that are cured or over cooked. If you love beef, then order your steak rare to medium. The charred effect on grilled chicken or fish is also carcinogenic. Reduce the length of time that waste remains in the gut by eating foods that are fresh and natural. Beef and pork contain nutrients that are difficult to substitute. Reduce your portions on all foods. Eat the red beef and forget the twinkies (that is if you like red meat).

  • 68_polara Aug 15, 2007

    I believe a western diet consists of mostly of meat and potatoes.

  • shine Aug 15, 2007

    I read this earlier and had to come back - What does the Western Diet include ?