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Get exercising and lose weight to reduce the risk of bowel cancer


Running is a mind-body sport

Running is a mind-body sport

Running is a mind-body sport

Five key healthy forms of behaviour can reduce the risk of getting bowel cancer, a study has suggested.

Bowel cancer is the second most common form of the disease in Ireland with more than 2,000 cases diagnosed annually.

Now a study in BMC Medicine has a five-point plan to cut the risk of the disease:

  • a healthy weight
  • low adominal fat
  • take part in regular physical activity
  • don't smoke and limit alcohol
  • eat a high amount of fruits, vegetables, fish, yoghurt, nuts and seeds, and foods rich in fibre
  • Limit the amount of red and processed meat in the diet

Most research up to now has focused on single lifestyle behaviours such as eating red meat, while little is known about the combined impact of several measures taken together.

The German study looked at the data of 347,237 men and women from 10 countries from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study over 12 years.

Compared to people who had followed up to one healthy lifestyle behaviour, those who practiced a combination of two, three, four and all the five had a 13pc, 21pc 34pc and 37pc lower risk of developing bowel cancer.

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