Sunday, August 19, 2007

Colon Cancer Issues Stemming from "Western Diet"

New work done for the August 15th, 20077 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) says that the high calorie and low fiber dietary pattern associated with the "Western diet" are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer recurrence. This study is said to be the first to consider cancer recurrence--previous studies have already shown how the Western Diet affects the risk for colorectal cancer.

The "Western Diet" consists mainly of processed foods, junk foods and fast foods with a high sodium, sugar and saturated fat content and a low nutrient density.

Jeffrey Meyerhardt, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, writes "This is the first study, to our knowledge, in a potentially cured population of colon cancer survivors to address the effect of diet." Meyerhardt was the lead author on this study.

"The data suggests that a diet characterized by higher intakes of red and processed meats, sweets and desserts, French fries, and refined grains increases the risk of cancer recurrence and decreases survival," the authors stated.

A recent epidemiological study from researchers at the Institute Gustave Roussy linked people with a dietary pattern closely matching the "Western" diet to a significantly increased risk of the cancer (American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 164, pp. 1085-1093). The new study looked at dietary patterns on cancer recurrence and survival in a group of 1,009 stage III colon cancer patients, those with cancer present in the colon and lymph nodes.

During the average follow-up period of 5.3 years, 223 patients died with cancer recurrence out of 324 cases of cancer recurrence. Twenty-eight people died without documented cancer recurrence. The researchers found that a diet with a higher correspondence to the Western dietary pattern after cancer diagnosis were at a significant increase in the risk of cancer recurrence or death. Indeed, the top 20 per cent of people with the greatest Western-style diet were 3.3 times more likely to have cancer recurrence or death that those with least Western-style diet.

The Western dietary pattern has earlier been blamed by scientists for the obesity crisis in the USA and other developed nations.


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