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Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology$
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Hans-Olov Adami, David Hunter, and Dimitrios Trichopoulos

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311174

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311174.001.0001

Colorectal Cancer

(p.275) 11 Colorectal Cancer
Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology

John D. Potter

David Hunter

Oxford University Press

There is substantial evidence that colorectal cancer is, after lung cancer, one of the most preventable of the common cancers. Increased BMI among men along with a sedentary lifestyle among both sexes is strongly implicated. The precise dietary patterns associated with increased risk are less clear, but there is evidence of an elevated risk with higher red meat consumption and a reduced risk with higher intake of plant foods and calcium. Evidence links the over-the-counter drugs, aspirin and NSAIDs, as well as prescription postmenopausal hormones, to a reduced risk. Vitamin supplements, perhaps as simple as multivitamins containing 400 micrograms of folic acid, may also reduce risk. Because there is a known precursor lesion (the adenomatous polyp), that is detectable at endoscopy, screening and early detection are feasible, effective, and reduce mortality. Incidence and mortality of this disease could be substantially reduced through a combination of lifestyle and social changes.

Keywords:   BMI, sedentary lifestyle, red meat, plant foods, calcium, aspirin, NSAIDS, postmenopausal hormones, folic acid, polyp

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