Vitamin D in the diet helps prevent colorectal cancer, while smoking and drinking alcohol increases the risk of getting the disease – A study, published this week in Journal of the American Medical Association.
Lead author David Lieberman, a gastroenterologist with the U.S. Veterans Administration medical facility in Portland, Oregon, says the most significant risk appears to come from smoking.
“Either past or current,” he said. “And this is a stronger risk factor than in some of the other studies that have been done. And that reinforces the fact that smoking isn’t good for you in a number of ways, and isn’t good for your colon.”
“People need to go in for screening beginning at age 50 when they are feeling perfectly fine,” said David Lieberman.
On the positive side, men who did not develop colon cancer had fiber-rich diets and ate foods containing a lot of calcium and vitamin D. Investigators have long suspected that vitamin D is protective, but the study results confirmed that.