This way you reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to Dr. Rutger

This way you reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to Dr. Rutger
This way you reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to Dr. Rutger

More and more young people are developing colon cancer, scientists discovered in a large-scale study. The results were published in Annals of Oncology, a scientific journal that focuses on cancer and the treatments for this disease.

More young people with colon cancer

The research focused on young people in the EU. Although there are major differences between countries, they also discovered similarities: more cases of colon cancer will appear in almost all of Europe in the coming years. In the United Kingdom there are increases of 40% for women and 26% for men, while in Italy it remains at increases of 2.6% for women and 1.5% for men. Professor Carlo La Vecchia, who contributed to the study, mentions alcohol and obesity as the biggest culprits.

The Dutch Dr. Rutger Verhoeff confirms this: while according to him, smoking used to be one of the biggest risk factors, this has shifted due to a lot of information and higher excise duties on tobacco. Nowadays, alcohol and an unhealthy lifestyle are causing more young people to develop cancer. What does he mean by an unhealthy lifestyle? “A lot of sitting still and therefore not enough exercise, several glasses of alcohol per week, a diet with too many sugars and eating too much processed, red meat.” That unhealthy food changes your intestinal flora and therefore increases the risk of colon cancer.

However, Dr Verhoeff would like to emphasize that not everything is down to your lifestyle. Although these are major risk factors, colon cancer can also develop without a clearly identifiable cause. “You also have that with lung cancer, for example. People who have never touched a cigarette can still get sick.”

Higher increase in women

If you look at the figures from the research Annals of oncology, then something stands out besides the increase. In most European countries, more women than men are diagnosed with colon cancer. According to Doctor Verhoeff, there is no real explanation for this. Some diseases are simply more common in one gender than the other, he says, but there is room for guesswork. For example, it could be metastases from breast or cervical cancer, but female hormone balance may also play a role. However, that is not certain.

Source: Annals of oncology

February 1, 2024

The article is in Dutch

Tags: reduce risk colon cancer Rutger


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