Colorectal cancer is stated as
the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States. (1)According to the
American Cancer society in 2018 it is estimated a staggering 50,630 deaths will
occur. (1) Primarily, colorectal cancer being a leading cause of mortality
worldwide has encouraged research to eradicate this uncontrollable cell
division in the bowel. There are numerous factors to prevent this disease with
diet being mentioned a key component.
Consequently, the Adventist
Health Study 2 (AHS-2)
investigated this major contributing factor in relation to the diagnosis of
colorectal cancer. This is evident in an article named “Vegetarian Dietary
Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers.” The longitudinal study recruited
around 77,659 (over 25’s) participants of both genders across 48 states as
their analytical sample. (2) Biennially, follow up questionnaires were
distributed to the participants enquiring the number of times a list of food
mentioned was eaten, where they then were classified into one of five dietary
pescovegetarians, semivegetarians lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians.)
It was also mentioned if they had received any cancer
diagnosis. Comparatively, the responses were checked with the
information from cancer register linkages. (2)The purpose of this study was to
demonstrate how four vegetarian dietary patterns compared to non-vegetarians
affect the diagnosis of colorectal cancer conducted for about 12 years.
The analysis of the four dietary
patterns were combined and compared with the non-vegetarians. Researchers
reported that vegetarians had lower BMI, intake of red meat, saturated fat but
higher consumption of fibre and legumes in comparison to non- vegetarians.
(2)Thus, leading to higher survival. The article states that colonoscopy to
detect formation of polyps in the bowel region was less likely to happen to
vegetarians mainly vegans hence less possibility of developing colorectal
cancer. Researchers associate this due to less intake of red meat. Hyperinsulinemia
is also an increased risk which does not affect vegetarians due to their diet.
(2)The article further states that a high intake of animal protein effects
insulin growth factors which spurs the cancer growth therefore high death
cox proportional hazards regression model was established to visualise the
relationship between being a vegetarian and the likelihood of developing
colorectal cancer. Confounding variables were considered such as age, race, or
previous family members who may have suffered from the disease. (2) This
statistical technique compared dietary patterns with the other covariates.
Results showed vegetarian dietary patterns with a hazard ratio HR of 0.78 95%
compared to non-vegetarians with an HR of 1.00 95% demonstrating vegetarians as
less likely to die from colorectal cancer. (2)
It can be concluded that there are more benefits
outweighing the risks as a vegetarian for developing colorectal cancer. A high
consumption of fruit and fibres can lead to healthier longer lives.
Predominantly red meat favours the cancer progression. Early detection through
screenings ensure almost 90% survival rate which can benefit everyone. (1) It
is one step ahead of beating cancer than cancer killing us