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'Western' diet linked to increased risk of colon cancer recurrence
Date:8/14/2007

BOSTONColon cancer patients who eat a diet high in red meat, fatty products, refined grains, and desserts a so-called Western diet may be increasing their chance of disease relapse and early death, report researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The study, published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, involved 1,009 patients with stage III colon cancer that has been treated with both surgery and chemotherapy. Stage III colon cancer is characterized as being localized to the large bowel area with cancer cells in the lymph nodes near the tumor. The investigators found that those who most closely followed a Western diet were three-and-a-half times more likely to have colon cancer recur than those whose diets were least Western-like.

We know from previous research that diet and lifestyle influence peoples risk of developing colon cancer, says the studys lead author, Jeffrey Meyerhardt, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber. This is the first large observation study to focus on the role of diet in recurrence of the disease. Our results suggest that people treated for locally advanced colon cancer can actively improve their odds of survival by their dietary choices.

The participants, who were enrolled in a large, phase III clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute of follow-up (adjuvant) chemotherapy, had their tumors surgically removed within the two months prior to enrolling in the study. They reported their dietary intake on specially designed questionnaires at two different time points during the period they were receiving chemotherapy and six months after the completion of chemotherapy.

Meyerhardt and his colleagues identified two major dietary trends within the group: A prudent pattern characterized by high intakes of fruits and vegetables, poultry, and fish, and a Western pattern characterized by high amounts of red and processed meats, sweets and desserts, French fries, and r
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Contact: Abigail Tomlinson
abigail_tomlinson@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-5379
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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