Fish May Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer Recurrence

June 27, 2014
Leah Lawrence
Leah Lawrence

Consuming more than two servings of fish each week can reduce a person’s risk for recurrence of colorectal cancer, according to the results of a cross-sectional multinational study.

Consuming more than two servings of fish each week can reduce a person’s risk for recurrence of colorectal cancer, according to the results of a cross-sectional multinational study (abstract 1514) presented as a poster at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

The study also found a link between more than 60 minutes of exercise each week and a reduced risk for colorectal cancer recurrence. The results were presented by Mohammed Shaik, MD, of Breslin Cancer Center, Michigan State University.

“In the analysis, fish consumption of more than two serving per week and regular exercise of more than 60 minutes per week was associated with 2.5 times less risk for colorectal cancer recurrence,” Shaik told Cancer Network. “The interesting finding in this study is that these factors, dietary fish consumption and exercise, are very prominent even in patients who were survivors of colorectal cancer.”

According to background information in the poster, dietary factors and physical activity have been linked with a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer; however, little study has been done examining a possible association between diet and exercise and the recurrence of disease.

Shaik and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of data taken from the Global epidemiological study (GES), a study that recruited patients from Poland, Vietnam, Western Europe, and the United States. Data were from 1,515 patients who had been surveyed about their exercise activity and routine dietary intake.

Results showed that 188 patients had colorectal cancer recurrence at a median age of 63 years.

The researchers conducted a multivariate analysis attempting to find association between diet and exercise and risk for recurrence. No associations were found for the consumption of dairy, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, or red meat. In addition, no link between NSAIDS consumption and colorectal cancer recurrence was found.

However, increased odds of cancer recurrence was found in people who consumed less than two servings of fish per week (adjusted OR = 2.58; 95% CI, 1.07-6.29; P = .03) compared with those who consumed more than two servings.

In addition, those patients who exercised less than 60 minutes per week had more than twice the risk for cancer recurrence (adjusted OR=2.68; 95% CI, 1.02-7.0; P = .04) compared with those who exercised more than 60 minutes per week.

Smoking duration or alcohol consumption was not found to influence risk for cancer recurrence.

“Patients who were already diagnosed and treated for colorectal cancer need to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle,” Shaik said. “A firm conclusion cannot be drawn from this type of study design, so furthermore, confirmatory prospective epidemiological studies need to be done to validate our findings.”