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Nov 9, 2010

Healthy Lifestyle Could Cut Our Risk for Colorectal Cancer

A study done in Denmark states that 23% of all colorectal cancers can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Five factors were assessed exercise, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet. The study showed that even the modest risk differences in lifestyle may have a substantial impact on colorectal cancer risks.

A lifestyle questionnaire was completed by 57,053 people all were born in Denmark and were 50 to 64 years of age. People with a family history of cancer were excluded, as were those taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and women on hormone-replacement therapy, leaving 55,487 participants.

Most of the participates followed 4 out of 5 of the lifestyle changes:

82% were physically active for at least 30 minutes a day
76% had a waist circumference within the recommended range (below 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men)
64% were nonsmokers (56% had never smoked)
59% had alcohol intake within the recommended limits (fewer than 7 drinks a week for women, and fewer than 14 drinks a week for men).

Only 2% of participants followed all of the dietary recommendations, which included eating at least 600 g of fruit and vegetables daily, eating 500 g or less of red and processed meat a week, eating at least 3 g of dietary fiber, and getting 30% or less of total energy from fat.

During a follow-up of 9.9 years, colorectal cancer was diagnosed in 678 individuals. The more lifestyle recommendations that were followed, the lower the risk for colorectal cancer.