Dietary risk factors and cancer
General dietary risk factors
- High levels of vegetable consumption appear to be associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, particularly distal tumours, although the prospective evidence is not strong.
- Consistent evidence that a high intake of vegetables and fruit reduces the risk of other tumours is lacking.
- High levels of red meat consumption appear to increase the risk of colonic and rectal cancer.
- A high-fibre diet has previously been reported as being associated with a lower risk of carcinoma of the colon. However, these results may have been influenced by confounding dietary factors, such as folate intake, and the association has not been confirmed.
- Fat consumption—there is ongoing interest in whether the various types of dietary fats influence cancer risk differently, with most concern over the saturated and trans fats found in meats and some dairy produce.
Specific dietary risk factors
- Appropriate dietary modifications may significantly influence the incidence of certain cancers.
- salt fish—reducing the intake of salt fish could reduce the incidence of nasopharyngeal cancer in developing countries by 33–50%
- aflatoxins—a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus species of mould which frequently contaminates corn, peanuts, and soybeans. Halving the median daily intake of aflatoxins may reduce the incidence of HCC in Africa and Asia by up to 40%.