Do alcoholic beverages, obesity and other nutritional factors modify the risk of familial colorectal cancer? A systematic review

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2017 Nov;119:94-112. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2017.09.001. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Abstract

Purpose: Individuals with family history of colorectal cancer are at higher risk of colorectal cancer than the general population. Until now, guidelines for familial colorectal cancer risk have only pointed at early diagnosis efforts via screening tests and surveillance, and payed scarce or no attention to lowering exposure to modifiable risk factors, notably nutritional factors.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of epidemiological studies investigating the associations between nutritional factors, family history of colorectal cancer, and colorectal cancer risk. From the 5312 abstracts identified until December 2016, 184 full text articles were examined for eligibility. Finally, 31 articles (21 from case-control studies, 9 from cohort studies and 1 from an intervention study) met inclusion criteria and were analyzed.

Results: Mainly, the combinations of family history of colorectal cancer and higher consumptions of alcoholic beverages, red or processed meat, or overweight/obesity increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Consistently, a strong increase is observed with the combinations of family history of colorectal cancer and unhealthy dietary patterns/lifestyles. Statistically significant interactions between these nutritional factors, family history of colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer risk are reported. Other data are inconclusive and additional prospective studies are needed.

Conclusions: For the first time, our findings highlight that addressing high consumption of alcoholic beverages, red or processed meat, and overweight/obesity, and more largely the exposure to multiple unhealthy dietary/nutritional behaviors could offer new perspectives of prevention to individuals with family history of colorectal cancer. A better information of these patients and of health professionals on these nutritional modifiable risk factors is recommended.

Keywords: Alcoholic beverages; Colorectal cancer; Diet; Dietary patterns; Family history; Foods; Lynch syndrome; Physical activity; Prevention; Processed meat; Red meat.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies