Patients treated for colon cancer who had a diet high in meat, refined grains, fattening food and desserts have an increased risk of the cancer recurring and death, research has shown.
The US study of 1,009 stage III colon cancer patients showed that after a 5.3 year follow-up, patients in the highest Western dietary pattern quintile were 3.3 time more likely to die or have their cancer recur.
Authors are now looking at which particular nutrient groups are most likely to affect outcomes.
They added: 'Because this was an observational study, causality cannot and should not be drawn from these data. Nonetheless, the data suggest that a diet characterized by higher intakes of red and processed meats, sweets and desserts, french fries, and refined grains increases the risk of cancer recurrence and decreases survival.'
Journal of the American Medical Association (2007) 298: 754-764