Over the past three decades there’s been a slight but steady decline in colorectal cancer incidence here in the US, thanks in large part to increased screening. Now a study out this week showing that rates of this cancer are increasing among young people — below the typical screening age — highlights the importance of people of all ages adopting healthy behaviors that can halve the risk of colorectal cancer.
The study – published in JAMA Surgery – found that among 20- to 34-year-olds, the data indicates incidence of colon and rectal cancer will increase by 90% and 124%, respectively, by 2030. Among the 35 to 49 year olds, rates are estimated to increase by 28% and 46%, respectively.
This large study confirms previous research on incidence trends, and it points to a growing public health problem, the authors note. Lifestyle and behavioral factors such as obesity may be a possible cause.
AICR estimates that half of all colorectal cancer cases are preventable if people were to eat healthier diets, move more and stay lean.
Research increasingly looks to overall dietary pattern, rather than any single nutrient, phytochemical or even food, to reduce cancer risk. How appropriate, therefore, that the closing session of the 2014 AICR Research Conference focused on the latest research on several popular dietary patterns.
The New Nordic Diet originated in Denmark to create a healthy eating pattern that suits the foods and flavor palate of Scandinavian countries. The diet’s heavy on fish, cruciferous and root vegetables (like cabbage and carrots) and oatmeal; it’s lighter on pork and other red meats. You’ve probably heard about a Mediterranean dietary pattern’s association with lower risk heart disease and other health benefits, but some featured foods are not universally accessible or familiar.
At the conference, Thomas Meinert Larsen, PhD, showed results of studies in which intensive half-year programs of people following the New Nordic Diet brought improvements in heart health risks and weight loss. This shows potential to reduce cancer risk, with eating changes that participants actually enjoyed. Continue reading
Americans’ waistlines are widening, finds a new study, even as our weight appears to be holding steady. The findings are important for cancer risk — along with other diseases — because while obesity is a clear cause of cancers, abdominal obesity may also independently increase risk.
The study, published in JAMA, found that Americans’ average waist circumference increased progressively slightly more than an inch from 1999 to 2012. During those years, waists bumped up from 37.6 to 38.8 inches.
Prevalence also increased, with over half of Americans now having abdominal obesity. Prevalence rose from 46 percent in 1999 to 54 percent in 2012, among both men and women.
The study included 32,816 participants who were part of multiple national surveys from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012. Previous analyses of data from the same surveys show that obesity did not change much from 2003 to 2012, the authors write. Continue reading