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Junk Food Linked with Bowel Cancer

Jul 15, 2013 04:10 AM EDT

According to a new study, eating junk food such as cakes, chips and biscuits along with sugary drinks can raise the risk of bowel cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers at Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities, who found that the risk between energy-rich food and bowel cancer was high if after other factors such as smoking habits, family history of cancers were considered, BBC reported. The study is published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

Bowel cancer is a general term for cancers that begin in the large intestine. It is sometimes referred to as colon or rectal cancer depending on the part of the intestine that it affects. An estimated 50,830 people in the U.S will die of colon and rectal cancers in 2013.

The study was based on data obtained from the Scottish Colorectal Cancer Study. Researchers compared the diets of 2,000 bowel cancer patients with the diets of people who were never diagnosed with the cancer.

Previous studies have shown that a western diet- rich in sweets, fried and processed food- can raise the risk of premature death.

Although, studies like these don't establish a cause and effect relationship between a high-calorie diet and risk of cancer, they do show that the risk of cancer is significantly higher for people who are on these diets.

"While the positive associations between a diet high in sugar and fat and colorectal cancer do not automatically imply 'cause and effect', it is important to take on board what we've found - especially as people in industrialised countries are consuming more of these foods," said Dr Evropi Theodoratou, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences, reports BBC.

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