Colon Cancer: What We Eat

Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2018 Apr;27(2):243-267. doi: 10.1016/j.soc.2017.11.002. Epub 2017 Dec 15.


A higher incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is observed in Oceania and Europe, whereas Africa and Asia have a lower incidence. CRC is largely preventable by adapting a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy diet, adequate physical activity, and avoiding obesity. This review summarizes the latest work available, mainly epidemiologic studies, to examine the relationship between diet and CRC. Higher intake of red/processed meat could increase the CRC risk, whereas fibers, especially from whole grains and cereals, as well as fruit and vegetables may decrease the CRC risk. Heterogeneity and inconsistency among studies or individuals, however, need to be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Coffee and tea; Colorectal cancer; Diet; Fiber; Fish; Fruit and vegetables; Red/processed meat; Vitamins and minerals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors