Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers. Over 41,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK. More than nine out of ten new cases are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, and nearly six out of ten cases are diagnosed in people aged 70 or over. But bowel cancer can affect any age. More than 2,500 new cases are diagnosed each year in people under the age of 50. 1 in 14 men and 1 in 19 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime (source: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/about-bowel-cancer/bowel-cancer/).
There are some factors that increase your risk of getting bowel cancer, some can be controlled and some can’t. Age, gender and genetics are all associated with bowel cancer, and while we can’t control these factors you can adjust your diet and lifestyle to reduce your risk of getting bowel cancer. Over the next month we are going to explore the dietary and lifestyle factors that are associated with bowel cancer risk. This article focuses on fibre and it’s link with bowel cancer.
Research has shown that the incident of bowel cancer is lower in people who have a high fibre intake. Wholegrains in particular are strongly associated with a reduced risk in bowel cancer. Fibre in wholegrains help move food through the gut more quickly, which reduces how long harmful substances are in contact with the bowel. It can also help the gut produce more 'friendly bacteria' which protect the gut. But fruit, vegetables and pulses also have a role to play and provide significant amounts of fibre and other vital micronutrients.
Bowel Cancer & Fibre
We should be eating 30g of fibre a day however on average, adults in the UK only consume 18g a day!
did you know?
Higher intakes of fibre are associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.