People need to improve diet to prevent colon cancer, study shows

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Scientists from Mayo Clinic suggest that early-onset colon cancer, defined as being diagnosed when younger than 50, continues to steadily increase in the U.S. and other higher-income countries.

This increase has shifted the median age at diagnosis from 72 years in the early 2000s to 66 years now.

The research is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was conducted by Frank Sinicrope et al.

The team says more and more younger people get colon cancer, and it is important to recognize that most cases are without a known hereditary basis and have no identifiable cause.

Public health measures are needed to address risk factors for colorectal cancer, beginning in adolescence, including poor dietary habits and physical inactivity.

The researchers suggest that diets with a high intake of red and processed meat, as well as refined grains and processed sugar can alter the gut microbial composition, resulting in chronic inflammation, increased rates of obesity, and a higher risk of colon cancer.

A plant-based diet and more physical activity may help to promote a more favorable gut microbiome, which in turn may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

The team says ongoing research involving large cohorts and international consortia aims to identify early life exposures that are most relevant to the development of early-onset colon cancer.

If you care about colon cancer, please read studies about factors that can increase risk of colon cancer, and a gut feeling may be an early sign of colon cancer.

For more information about colon cancer, please see recent studies about drugs that can increase colon cancer risk, and results showing common blood pressure drugs could boost colon cancer survival.

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