Medical professionals: This is how the personal risk of colon cancer can be reduced

Exercise and nutrition: Reduce colorectal cancer risk through healthier lifestyle

Colorectal cancer (colorectal cancer) is one of the most common cancers in Germany. According to doctors, almost a third of colon cancer cases are based on a family risk. Often, this type of cancer is also favored by an unhealthy lifestyle. Health experts explain how the risk of colon cancer can be reduced.

Colon cancer risk is affected by diet

In Germany alone, around 26,000 people die from colon cancer every year. The frequency of this type of cancer increases with age, which is why older people should go for regular checkups. This is especially important if the family has had colon cancer cases. But nutrition is also very important. According to studies, this can influence our risk of colon cancer.

Healthy lifestyle prevents colon cancer

In addition to age and genetic factors, lack of exercise, tobacco and alcohol consumption, malnutrition is also a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

In particular, the risk of eating a lot of red meat is repeatedly proven in studies.

In contrast, vegetarians are less likely to get colorectal cancer, according to a study by researchers at Loma Linda University in California.

According to another study, oily fish also protects against colon cancer, as do nuts. These even have an active effect on colorectal cancer, as study results by nutritionists at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena show.

And a study by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston showed that colorectal cancer can be prevented with a wholesome diet.

Risk reduced by a third

How effective a healthier lifestyle is in preventing colon cancer was also demonstrated in an older, large European long-term study (EPIC) with over 347,000 female and male adult study participants.

At the time, the team of scientists led by Krasimira Aleksandrova and Heiner Boeing from the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DIfE) determined:

"Those who are not overweight, do not smoke, consume alcohol only in moderation, are physically active and eat a healthy diet have a roughly one-third reduced risk of developing colon or rectal cancer," says a message.

According to the study, study participants who had two of the health-promoting characteristics had a 13 percent reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to persons who had no or only a favorable lifestyle characteristic.

If the test subjects had three of the examined characteristics, their risk of illness decreased by 21 percent, whereas with four characteristics their risk decreased by 34 percent. If all five characteristics came together, the risk even decreased by 37 percent.

Be physically active

In another communication, the DIfE emphasized how important physical activity is in particular for preventing colon cancer.

According to a data analysis, an international team of researchers found that a lot of exercise is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

"An observation that could be explained by the beneficial effects of physical activity on waist circumference, metabolic health and vitamin D status," writes the DIfE.

According to the data, the results showed that the three biological markers waist circumference, vitamin D level and the blood value of the soluble leptin receptor influence the risk relationship between physical activity and colorectal cancer by 45 percent.

"Our study shows once again how important it is to be physically active in order to maintain a healthy metabolism and thus prevent diseases such as colon cancer," said Aleksandrova, first author of the study. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: What happens during and after a colonoscopy? (May 2021).