dietary factors and risk of colorectal cancer

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The following are risk factors for colorectal carcinoma:

  • animal fat intake:
    • the relative risk for the highest intake quintile versus the lowest intake quintile is 1.89 (95% confidence 1.13 to 3.15)
    • women eating beef, pork or lamb daily have a relative risk of colorectal cancer of 2.49 vs women who eat these meats less than once per month

  • dietary fibre intake:
    • trials suggest that vegetable fibre and not cereal fibre are effective in reducing colorectal cancer
  • migrant studies indicate that when populations move from a low-risk area (e.g. Japan) to a high-risk area (e.g. the USA), the incidence increases rapidly within the first generation of migrants
    • diet is definitely the most important exogenous factor identified up to now in the aetiology of colorectal cancer


Last reviewed 07/2021