People with a family history of colon cancer benefit from cleaning up their diets. Dutch investigators followed nearly 500 individuals with Lynch syndrome, a genetic quirk that greatly increases the risk of colon cancer. As many as 70 percent of these people eventually develop such a cancer.
Detailed dietary information was collected at the beginning of the study. Four dietary patterns were identified: one rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains; one with a lot of meat and coffee; one similar to a Mediterranean diet, full of fish, greens, wine and pasta; and a junk food group who ate more diet soda, fast food and fried snacks.
After about a year and a half, 12 percent of the volunteers had developed colon tumors. Data analysis and adjustment indicates that those who ate more junk food were at higher risk for tumors, but the researchers say their results are still too preliminary and inconclusive to make recommendations. Aspirin, however, clearly seems to prevent colon cancer in people with Lynch syndrome.