[MOL] Good news! Delice in incidence of colorectal cancer [01222] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Good news! Delice in incidence of colorectal cancer

A steady decrease in the incidence of colorectal cancer since the mid 1980s is probably attributable more to early screening and polypectomy than to changes in diet and lifestyle.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine arrived at the finding after analyzing data from several population-based studies, including the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. They compared exposure to such risk factors as dietary fat and fiber, energy intake, physical activity, serum cholesterol, cigarette smoking, and obesity with the incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States from 1973 to 1994. Their analysis also included data on Medicare-reimbursed colonoscopic polypectomies.

After rising for 13 years, the incidence of colorectal cancer started to fall in 1986 and has decreased by more than 1% per year since then. During the study period, fruit, vegetable, and cereal consumption increased. But fat consumption remained the same, energy intake increased, physical activity declined, and the prevalence of obesity sharply increased. The strongest link with the decline in disease was an increase in colonoscopic polypectomy, "from a novelty in 1973 to almost one million individuals in 1993," the researchers wrote in the June issue of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.