According to a new research, eating junk food can increase the risk of colon cancer if you have a genetic predisposition to the disease. In this particular study, all of the subjects had Lynch Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder. About 70 percent of those with Lynch Syndrome develop colon cancer.

At the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, our whole mission is to prevent colon cancer deaths. In addition to the colonoscopies we perform on location at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills, both our gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons believe a healthy diet should help in the prevention of colon cancer deaths.

STUDY: Healthy Diet Helps Lower Risk of Colon Cancer

“These patients have this very high risk because of this (genetic) mutation they have,” said lead author Akke Botma, “but it might be that they could reduce the number of (tumors) by having a more healthy lifestyle.”

Botma and her colleagues surveyed 486 people with Lynch Syndrome; asked them about what they ate; and ranked each on whether they ate low, medium, or high amounts of food in four categories. The food groups included:

  1. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  2. Meat and coffee
  3. Fish, leafy greens, pasta, sauces, and wine
  4. Fried snacks, fast food, and diet soda

Over a period of 20 months, 56 of the 486 participants had colon tumors discovered during colon cancer screenings. After taking into account smoking and other risk factors, Botma’s team of researchers found that people who splurged heavily in the 4th category (friend snacks, fast food, and diet soda) in their diet were twice as likely to develop tumors than those whose diets were more concentrated in the other three categories.

Before we get too carried away by this study, it’s important to keep in mind that these findings need still to be confirmed with additional research. These findings are too preliminary to draw serious conclusions about the relationship between colon cancer and junk food. The same goes for the relationship between colon cancer and healthy food.

Even if the findings of this study are still a bit premature and lowering your junk food doesn’t directly result in lowering one’s risk of colon cancer, that doesn’t mean that it is a bad idea to cut junk food out of your diet. That’s because doing so will most certainly help prevent obesity as well as other gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

The original source for this study was Dietary Patterns and Colorectal Adenomas in Lunch Syndrome.

Schedule a Colon Cancer Screening

Whether you have an inherited predisposition to colon cancer, a family history of the disease or neither of the above, everyone should at least begin having regular appointments for colonoscopies at the age of 50. To schedule a colon cancer screening at the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence, contact our Beverly Hills GI doctors at (310) 360-9119.