American Association for Cancer Research identify dietary intake of saturated fats as a possible risk factor for cancer of the small intestine, advancing the understanding of cancer development in this and other areas of the digestive tract.
While relatively rare, rates of cancer of the small intestine have been increasing since the 1970s. Individuals with this cancer are at increased risk of developing a second primary malignancy, particularly colorectal cancer.
“Identifying modifiable risk factors for cancer of the small intestine is important not only because the incidence of this cancer is on the rise, but it may enable us to further understand other gastrointestinal malignancies” said Amanda Cross, Ph.D., a National Cancer Institute researcher and the study’s lead author.
Diets high in red and processed meats are associated with cancer of the large intestine. However, this is the first prospective study to examine meat and fat intake in relation to cancer of the small intestine.
Cross and other researchers from the National Cancer Institute used food frequency questionnaires to track food intake in a half million men and women enrolled in the NIH -AARP Diet and Health study over an eight-year period.
Through state cancer registries and national death indexes researchers noted the development of 60 adenocarcinomas and 80 carcinoid tumors of the small intestine.
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