ColorectalReferring to the large bowel, comprising the colon and rectum. cancer is the second most common non-skin cancer occurring in men and women in Australia, and the second most common cause of cancer death. Although mortality from the disease has been decreasing over recent decades, the incidence is still rising slowly.
Many observational studies have provided evidence of dietary associations with colorectal cancer risk. A limited number of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) also support diet and lifestyle advice to reduce colorectal cancer risk. ColorectalReferring to the large bowel, comprising the colon and rectum. cancer is the second most preventable cancer after lung cancer. Table 2.1 shows the proportion of incident colorectal cancer cases diagnosed in 2010 in Australia attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors (all both males and females).
Table 2.1 Proportion of incident colorectal cancer cases diagnosed in Australia attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors
|Lifestyle/environmental factor||Proportion (%)|
|Overweight and obesity||9.0|
|Insufficient physical activity||4.8|
|Diet – insufficient fibre||17.6|
|Diet – red and processed meat||17.6|
|Population attributable fraction combined||49.8|
In the adult white population in the USA, it has been estimated that 60% and 59% of colorectal cancer incidence for women and men, respectively, could be prevented by lifestyle factors. However, although these lifestyle and environmental risk factors are well described, there are no data yet available to indicate that interventions to avoid or modify favourably the factors has been less convincing except for some diet studies.
Prevention of colorectal cancer includes:
- primary prevention through chemoprevention, dietary and lifestyle modifications
- early detection and removal of precursor lesions such as the adenomatous polyp.
This chapter focuses on primary prevention, and summarises advances in the knowledge and application of interventions to prevent colorectal cancer, thereby reducing the incidence of the disease.
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