Among people who have a genetic susceptibility to colon cancer, those whose diets are heavy in junk food have an even higher risk, according to a new study.
"These patients have this very high risk because of this (genetic) mutation they have, but it might be that they could reduce the number of (tumors) by having a more healthy lifestyle," said Akke Botma, the lead author of the study.
Botma's study is just the first to find a link between certain foods and a higher colon cancer risk in this group, and it can't prove that the diet is to blame.
All of the people in the study had Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder that predisposes people to cancer at younger ages and that affects up to one in 660 people.
In Western countries, colorectal and endometrial cancers are the dominant cancers to turn up in people with the syndrome, while in Asia it's mostly stomach cancer, Botma said.