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Bowel Cancer Risk Can Be Reduced By Adopting Multiple Healthy Behaviors: Study

Update Date: Oct 10, 2014 09:11 AM EDT

Adopting a combination of five key healthy behaviors can reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer, according to a new study. 

The study, quantifying the impact of combined multiple healthy lifestyle behaviors on the risk of developing bowel cancer, found that this impact is even more stronger in men than in women. 

"These data provide additional incentive to individuals, medical professionals and public health authorities to invest in healthy lifestyle initiatives. Each person can contribute a lot to avoid cancer, the more healthy lifestyle changes, the better," lead author Krasimira Aleksandrova said in the press release.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in men and third most common cancer in women worldwide. 

Earlier studies had identified linked between the cancer frequency rates and western lifestyles. However, most research focused on isolated lifestyle behaviors. 

The study analyzed data of 347, 237 men and women from 10 countries from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study using a healthy lifestyle index, the press release added. In the 12-year study period, 3,759 cases of bowel cancer were recorded. 

 "Estimates based on our study populations suggest that up to 22% of the cases in men and 11% of the cases in women would have been prevented if all five of the healthy lifestyle behaviors had been followed. Our results particularly demonstrate the potential for prevention in men who are at a higher risk of bowel cancer than women," Aleksandrova added.

The research has been published in the journal BMC Medicine. 

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