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Eating Junk Food May Increase Colon Cancer Risk

The risk of developing colon cancer increases for certain individuals with a propensity for eating junk foods, reports a new study published in the current issue of the journal, Cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, looked at people diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder found in 1 out of every 660 people that makes them more susceptible to developing a variety of cancersat a younger age. As many as 70 percent of people with Lynch syndrome will develop some form of cancer; and according to the research, colorectal and endometrial cancers are more common in Lynch syndrome sufferers in Western countries, particularly where certain foods are more also more common.

According to Reuters, the researchers contacted nearly 500 people with Lynch syndrome, “At the beginning of the study they surveyed the participants about what they ate, and they ranked each person on whether he ate low, medium or high amounts of foods within four dietary categories.”

Of the food categories, the researchers found that only the junk food category showed any connection with a different cancer risk in developing colon tumors, “Of the 160 people who scored low on the junk food diet, 17 developed tumors, while 18 out of the 160 people who ate the most junk food developed tumors,” according to Reuters.

Scientists are not clear what’s causing the increased risk—it could be the high fat common in junk foods, but the study’s findings were not conclusive in pinpointing the risk.

About the author

Alan Chiu Tsang

Alan is a freelancer photographer and author for
He graduated from Hong Kong university in 2005.