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Originally published April 8 2009

Natural Strategies Could Slash Colorectal Cancer Rate

by Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor

(NaturalNews) A British research team headed by Professor Donald Maxwell Parkin of Cancer Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics, and Statistics in London reports natural approaches involving a healthy lifestyle could slash the rate of colorectal cancer in Great Britain over the next 24 years. And there's no reason to think the strategies wouldn't prevent the same cancers in other countries, too.

The new research suggests that changes in diet, exercise, alcohol use, and body weight could cause the rate of colorectal cancer in the U.K. to plummet by over one-fourth. This is a ten percent higher reduction in the number of cancers than would most likely be prevented by a proposed national medical screening program. What's more, Professor Parkin and his colleagues concluded "the preventive interventions described in this study would save more deaths from other causes (cancer of the breast and upper GI tract, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes) than from colorectal cancer."

The study, just published in the May issue of The European Journal of Cancer Prevention, presents data-backed projections that estimate how "reasonable" lifestyle changes would affect future rates of colorectal cancer. In all, the scientists found lifestyle modifications would lead to a "substantial" reduction in colorectal malignancies, causing cases of colorectal cancer in the U.K. population to decrease by 26 percent -- this would include 31.5 percent fewer cases of colorectal cancer in men and 18.4 percent fewer cases in women.

The five all natural lifestyle factors studied by the researchers include:
* Little or no consumption of red and processed meat (no more than 80 or 90 grams per day).
* Eating more fruits, vegetables, and fiber (least five servings per day).
* Exercising at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days per week.
* Limiting the drinking of alcohol to no more than 21 units per week for men, 15 units for women.
* Conquering the problems of being overweight and obesity by aiming to reduce average weights to those normally seen 20 years ago.

Most of the cases of colorectal cancer prevented by these strategies would be in people 50 or older. However, in a statement to the media, the researchers noted the proportional reduction in risk would be even greater at younger ages.

Colorectal cancer is the number two cause of cancer deaths in the U.K. It is also a major health problem in the U.S. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 50,000 Americans died from colon and rectal malignancies last year.

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About the author

Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA's "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine's "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic's "Men's Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.

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