HealthDay News — According to a study published in Genetics in Medicine, a healthier lifestyle can lower the odds for colorectal cancer (CRC) in men who are at high risk of getting the disease.

The new study was coauthored by 2 London-based researchers, Matthew Frampton, PhD, of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Richard Houlston, MD, of The Institute of Cancer Research. The team analyzed data on CRC incidence and deaths collected between 2001 and 2012 by the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Focus was placed on 1,401,447 British men in their late 50s.

Mathematical models revealed that nearly a quarter of men between 55 and 59 had genes that raised their odds of getting CRC to a rate that was similar to men already aged 60 or above. The same analysis found that these men bore a 29% risk of developing CRC over the next 25 years. 

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In the end, 1264 of these 50-something men with the genetic risk genes developed CRC. But healthy living reduced the odds for CRC risk — even among these genetically disadvantaged men.

Overall, adopting a healthy lifestyle cut their 25-year risk for the disease from 29% to as low as 13%, the research team reported. The researchers estimated that if 10,000 men with the highest inherited risk for CRC adopted the healthiest possible lifestyle, 610 could be spared CRC over the next 25 years.


Frampton M and Houlston RS. “Modeling The Prevention Of Colorectal Cancer From The Combined Impact Of Host And Behavioral Risk Factors”. Genetics in Medicine. 2016. doi:10.1038/gim.2016.101. [Epub ahead of print]

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