Colorectal cancer risk factor research
Scientists have found a significantly increased risk of early stage colon cancer in people with more belly fat.
During a three year study in Japan, researchers matched 108 patients diagnosed with early colorectal cancer with a control group.
After adjusting for other lifestyle factors, they found that patients with the most belly fat (visceral or abdominal adipose tissue) had an increased risk of colon cancer.
Check with your physician about regular exams and get rid of belly fat to reduce at least one of the risk factors of colorectal cancer.
Dramatically increased risk
Patients with the highest amounts of belly fat showed almost six times greater risk of early colon cancer.
Even those with the smallest amount of abdominal fat doubled their risk.
They also tested fasting glucose, a marker of insulin resistance, and found that it was also positively associated with increased risk of colon cancer.
Subcutaneous fat (directly under the skin) did not increase the risk, and there was no association for adenomas (Yamamoto, Visceral fat area and markers of insulin resistance in relation to colorectal neoplasia, Diabetes Care, October 2009).
In the United States alone, over 72,000 men and 69,000 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually, and over 26,000 men and 26,000 women died from this disease (CDC, 2005).
Colon cancer survival rate
The 5 year survival rate for this diagnosis depends on how early it is diagnosed.
If diagnosed as early stage Stage I, the survival rate is as high as 93%.
If it is not diagnosed until Stage IV, survival drops to 8% (NCI, 1991-2000).
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