Dietary Patterns Factor In Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Medical research often links specific foods with cancer risk, but an UNC study says dietary patterns can be more important than any one food group.
Rather than individual foods, UNC researchers looked at overall dietary patterns of colorectal cancer patients. Research has shown the relationship between red meat and colon cancer, but a study implies lots of other meats are also involved.
"People that seem to eat a lot of vegetables did not seem to be protected from developing colorectal precancerous polyps," Austin said.
Austin said that may be due to the fact that vegetables often accompany meat in the average American diet. He said it is the overall dietary pattern people should look at.
For people at average risk of colorectal cancer, screening, which includes a colonoscopy, should begin by age 50. According to Austin, people with a strong family history of colorectal cancer should begin screening earlier, at least 10 years earlier than the age at which their family member was diagnosed.
Health experts said colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined. African-Americans are at highest risk for colorectal cancer. Health experts said they should begin screening at age 45.