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

efined grains. Participants didnt fall neatly into one category or the other, but were scored in each by how closely they matched the Western and prudent models.

The survival benefit for those whose diets least resembled the Western pattern held true even after researchers controlled for factors such as gender, age, body mass, degree of cancer spread to lymph nodes, and physical activity level. Investigators do not know why such a diet is associated with a poorer outcome, but speculate that it may be related to increased insulin levels and insulin-like growth factors. Insulin and related growth factors have been linked to the formation and growth of some types of tumors.

In contrast to the negative effect of a Western diet, researchers found that following a prudent-pattern diet did not significantly influence cancer recurrence or mortality. The message is that patients in this category can improve their prospects by avoiding certain foods, comments Meyerhardt, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Meyerhardt adds that more research is needed to better understand what components of diet are most responsible for the study findings, and why.


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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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