The risk of developing colon cancer in people who are already susceptible due to genetic inheritance is said to increase further if they indulge heavily in junk food; says recent study.
Lead author of the study, Akke Botma said that although some people suffer high risk of colon cancer due to genetic mutations, they could reduce the number of tumors by maintaining a healthy life-style.
This study is the first of its kind to link increase in colon cancer risk with certain foods in the diet of people belonging to this risk group. All the people participating in the study suffered from Lynch syndrome which a genetic disorder is predisposing them to cancer at young age and affecting almost one in 660 people.
In Western nations, most people suffering from Lynch syndrome develop colorectal or endometrial cancer while in Asia; most of these people suffer stomach cancer.70 percent people suffering from Lynch cancer will develop colon cancer. In people without this disorder, risk of developing colon cancer depends on diet, particularly red or processed meat and alcohol. Researchers questioned participants about what they ate.
They ranked participants depending on the amount of food consumed as low, medium or high within the gambit of four dietary categories; namely food dominated by whole grains, fruits and vegetables; food high in coffee and meat; food high in fish, wine, sauces, pasta and leafy vegetables; and food high in fried snacks, diet soda and fast food. During a follow up after 20 months, 56 participants screened positive for tumor in their colon, a precursor to cancer.
On comparing subjects from different dietary groups, junk food category showed some link with a different risk for developing cancer. Among 160 subjects who consumed less junk-food, only 17 developed tumor. Out of 160 people who ate maximum junk food, 18 developed tumor.
By accounting for other risk factors like smoking, researchers concluded that people in the high junk-food group suffered twice as much risk of developing colon cancer. The findings are preliminary, yet valuable in launching further research in the field of studying role of certain foods on cancer risk.