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Fags and drinks 'can cause bowel cancer'

world Updated: Jun 02, 2009 19:08 IST
Fags and drinks 'can cause bowel cancer'

Here's another reason to quit fags - people who smoke and down more than seven drinks every week are vulnerable to bowel cancer, says a new study.

An international team, led by the George Institute for International Health in Australia, has found that smokers who consume over seven drinks a week have nearly 60 per cent more risk of developing bowel cancer, compared with non-drinkers.

Obesity and diabetes are also associated with a 20 per cent greater risk of developing bowel cancer which kills more than half a million people worldwide, the study has revealed.

Lead researcher Rachel Huxley said: "The strong, and largely, unknown association between high intakes of alcoholic beverages with risk of colorectal cancer.

"Most people probably know that being overweight and having poor dietary habits are risk factors for the disease, but most are probably unaware that other lifestyle risk factors such as alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and diabetes are also important culprits."

In their study, based on the review of 100 published researches, the researchers also demonstrated that physical activity lowered an individual's risk of the disease but there was little evidence to indicate that high intakes of fruit and vegetables were protective against bowel cancer.

"These findings strongly suggest that a large proportion of colorectal cancer cases could potentially be avoided by making relatively modest lifestyle adjustments such as drinking less, quitting smoking, eating healthily and being a little more active.

"Such changes would also have huge benefits in terms of reducing an individuals' risk of developing other major forms of illness including cardiovascular disease," Huxley said.