All cancers create fear but not all cancers create dialogue. Colorectal cancer is particularly frightening for many reasons, making it vital that physicians and the media work together to raise public awareness around its prevalence, mortality and all effective interventions.
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society, with 1 in 20 developing it in his or her lifetime. The Society projects the disease will cause about 49,700 deaths during 2015.
A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk for colorectal cancer. Researchers assessed the diets of 77,659 participants in the Adventist Health Study 2 for about seven years and tracked incidence of colorectal cancers. Participants followed five dietary patterns including vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescovegetarian, semivegetarian, and nonvegetarian.
The combined vegetarian groups had a 22 percent lower risk for all types of colorectal cancers than the nonvegetarian group. This study supports previous research linking red and processed meats to colorectal and other cancers.