Patient’s Guide in Colorectal Cancer: Prophylaxis, Diet, and Lifestyle

  • Marta Zielińska
  • Jakub Włodarczyk


In this chapter we will shortly discuss all possible aspects which concern the prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC). We will give evidence that changes in lifestyle may contribute to a lower number of new cancer cases and deaths caused by cancer. We will show that diet is important to prevent cancer, which products should be avoided or controlled and which should be eaten more frequently because of being the source of nutrients and antioxidants. Finally, we will indicate that a good cooperation between the doctor and the patient can be crucial in cancer therapy.


Diet Fiber Lifestyle Physical activity Prevention Risk factors 



The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supported by grants from the Medical University of Lodz (502-03/1-156-04/502-14-297 to MZ), National Science Centre (#UMO-2013/11/N/NZ7/00724 and UMO-2014/12/T/NZ7/00252 to MZ), and Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Iuventus Plus 5 Program #IP2015 089474 to MZ). MZ is a recipient of the Polish L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science and Polpharma Scientific Foundation Scholarship.


  1. 1.
    Perera PS, Thompson RL, Wiseman MJ. Recent evidence for colorectal cancer prevention through healthy food, nutrition, and physical activity: implications for recommendations. Curr Nutr Rep. 2012;1(1):44–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tarraga Lopez P, Albero J, Rodriguez-Montes J. Is it possible to reduce the incident of colorectal cancer by modifying diet and lifestyle? Curr Cancer Ther Rev. 2014;9(3):157–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    John BJ, Irukulla S, Abulafi AM, Kumar D, Mendall MA. Systematic review: adipose tissue, obesity and gastrointestinal diseases. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006;23(11):1511–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Reidy J, McHugh E, Stassen LFA. A review of the relationship between alcohol and oral cancer. Surgeon. 2011;9(5):278–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Durko L, Malecka-Panas E. Lifestyle Modifications and Colorectal Cancer. Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep. 2014;10(1):45–54.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bagnardi V, Rota M, Botteri E, Tramacere I, Islami F, Fedirko V, et al. Light alcohol drinking and cancer: a meta-analysis. Ann Oncol Off J Eur Soc Med Oncol. 2013;24(2):301–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boffetta P, Hashibe M. Alcohol and cancer. Lancet Oncol. 2006;7(2):149–56.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liang PS, Chen T-Y, Giovannucci E. Cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer incidence and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cancer. 2009;124(10):2406–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Tsoi KKF, Pau CYY, Wu WKK, Chan FKL, Griffiths S, Sung JJY. Cigarette smoking and the risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009;7(6):682–688.e5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cross AJ, Boca S, Freedman ND, Caporaso NE, Huang WY, Sinha R, et al. Metabolites of tobacco smoking and colorectal cancer risk. Carcinogenesis. 2014;35(7):1516–22.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Warren GW, Romano MA, Kudrimoti MR, Randall ME, McGarry RC, Singh AK, et al. Nicotinic modulation of therapeutic response in vitro and in vivo. Int J Cancer. 2012;131(11):2519–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chao A, Connell CJ, Jacobs EJ, McCullough ML, Patel AV, Calle EE, et al. Amount, type, and timing of recreational physical activity in relation to colon and rectal cancer in older adults: the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev. 2004;13(12):2187–95.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Slattery ML, Edwards S, Curtin K, Ma K, Edwards R, Holubkov R, et al. Physical activity and colorectal cancer. Am J Epidemiol. 2003;158(3):214–24.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zhang X, Giovannucci EL, Wu K, Gao X, Hu F, Ogino S, et al. Associations of self-reported sleep duration and snoring with colorectal cancer risk in men and women. Sleep. 2013;36(5):681–8.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jiao L, Duan Z, Sangi-Haghpeykar H, Hale L, White DL, El-Serag HB. Sleep duration and incidence of colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women. Br J Cancer. 2013;108(1):213–21.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wang X, Ji A, Zhu Y, Liang Z, Wu J, Li S, et al. A meta-analysis including dose-response relationship between night shift work and the risk of colorectal cancer. Oncotarget. 2015;6(28):25046–60.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Innominato PF, Roche VP, Palesh OG, Ulusakarya A, Spiegel D, Lévi FA. The circadian timing system in clinical oncology. Ann Med. 2014;46(4):191–207.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Costa G, Haus E, Stevens R. Shift work and cancer - considerations on rationale, mechanisms, and epidemiology. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2010;36(2):163–79.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Blask DE. Melatonin, sleep disturbance and cancer risk. Sleep Med Rev. 2009;13(4):257–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rich T, Innominato PF, Boerner J, Mormont MC, Iacobelli S, Baron B, et al. Elevated serum cytokines correlated with altered behavior, serum cortisol rhythm, and dampened 24-hour rest-activity patterns in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2005;11(5):1757–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lin KJ, Cheung WY, Lai JY-C, Giovannucci EL. The effect of estrogen vs. combined estrogen-progestogen therapy on the risk of colorectal cancer. Int J Cancer. 2012;130(2):419–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bosetti C, Rosato V, Gallus S, Cuzick J, La Vecchia C. Aspirin and cancer risk: a quantitative review to 2011. Ann Oncol. 2012;23(6):1403–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Singh Ranger G. The role of aspirin in colorectal cancer chemoprevention. Crit Rev. Oncol Hematol. 2016;104:87–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Brenner H, Chang-Claude J, Seiler CM, Rickert A, Hoffmeister M. Protection from colorectal cancer after colonoscopy: a population-based, case-control study. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(1):22–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Doll R, Peto R. The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1981;66(6):1191–308.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Brenner H, Kloor M, Pox CP. Colorectal cancer. Lancet. 2014;383(9927):1490–502.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Aune D, Lau R, Chan DSM, Vieira R, Greenwood DC, Kampman E, et al. Nonlinear reduction in risk for colorectal cancer by fruit and vegetable intake based on meta-analysis of prospective studies. Gastroenterology. 2011;141(1):106–18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Aune D, Chan DSM, Lau R, Vieira R, Greenwood DC, Kampman E, et al. Dietary fibre, whole grains, and risk of colorectal cancer: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMJ. 2011;343:d6617.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Aune D, Lau R, Chan DSM, Vieira R, Greenwood DC, Kampman E, et al. Dairy products and colorectal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Ann Oncol Off J Eur Soc Med Oncol. 2012;23(1):37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wu S, Feng B, Li K, Zhu X, Liang S, Liu X, et al. Fish consumption and colorectal cancer risk in humans: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2012;125(6):551–559.e5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Takachi R, Inoue M, Shimazu T, Sasazuki S, Ishihara J, Sawada N, et al. Consumption of sodium and salted foods in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease: the Japan Public Health Center–based Prospective Study 1–4. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:456–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Guercio BJ, Sato K, Niedzwiecki D, Ye X, Saltz LB, Mayer RJ, et al. Coffee intake, recurrence, and mortality in stage III colon cancer: results from CALGB 89803 (Alliance). J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(31):3598–607.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Norat T, Chan D, Lau R, Aune D, Vieira R, Corpet DE. WCRF/AICR systematic literature review continuous update project report statistical advisor: Darren Greenwood external collaborator: Mathilde Touvier narrative review of mechanisms for the effects of red and processed meat on colorectal cancer. 2010.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Chan DSM, Lau R, Aune D, Vieira R, Greenwood DC, Kampman E, et al. Red and processed meat and colorectal cancer incidence: meta-analysis of prospective studies. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20456.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Smolińska K, Paluszkiewicz P. Risk of colorectal cancer in relation to frequency and total amount of red meat consumption. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Med Sci. 2010;4:605–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sutandyo N. Nutritional carcinogenesis. Acta Med Indones. 2010;42(1):36–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Daniel CR, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Hollenbeck AR, Park Y, Sinha R. Prospective investigation of poultry and fish intake in relation to cancer risk. Cancer Prev Res. 2011;4(11):1903–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Vargas AJ, Thompson PA. Diet and nutrient factors in colorectal cancer risk. Nutr Clin Pract. 2012;27(5):613–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Aggarwal BB, Shishodia S. Molecular targets of dietary agents for prevention and therapy of cancer. Biochem Pharmacol. 2006;71(10):1397–421.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Baena R, Salinas P. Diet and colorectal cancer. Maturitas. 2015;80(3):258–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kim Y, Je Y. Dietary fiber intake and total mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(6):565–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Newmark HL, Wargovich MJ, Bruce WR. Colon cancer and dietary fat, phosphate, and calcium: a hypothesis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984;72(6):1323–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Carroll C, Cooper K, Papaioannou D, Hind D, Pilgrim H, Tappenden P, et al. Supplemental calcium in the chemoprevention of colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Ther. 2010;32(5):789–803.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Narisawa T, Reddy BS, Weisburger JH. Effect of bile acids and dietary fat on large bowel carcinogenesis in animal models. Gastroenterol Jpn. 1978;13(3):206–12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Sieri S, Krogh V, Agnoli C, Ricceri F, Palli D, Masala G, et al. Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load and risk of colorectal cancer: results from the EPIC-Italy study. Int J Cancer. 2015;136(12):2923–31.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Oskay-Ozcelik G, Lehmacher W, Konsgen D, Christ H, Kaufmann M, Lichtenegger W, et al. Breast cancer patients’ expectations in respect of the physician-patient relationship and treatment management results of a survey of 617 patients. Ann Oncol. 2006;18(3):479–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineMedical University of LodzLodzPoland

Personalised recommendations