Healthy living before bowel cancer diagnosis 'can enhance survival'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

People diagnosed with bowel cancer stand a better chance of survival if they have led a healthy lifestyle before their diagnosis.

This is according to a study from Imperial College London, which analysed data from 520,000 men and women from ten countries over six years. Of these patients,3,292 were diagnosed with bowel cancer.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before diagnosis could improve a person's chances of surviving bowel cancer, according to UK research.“

It was found that a balanced diet, keeping physically active and maintaining a healthy weight were all associated with an improved likelihood of survival, particularly among those with a high consumption of plant foods.

There was also an association seen with women who breastfed and improved survival.

Tom Stansfeld, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "While healthy choices may have a positive impact on bowel cancer survival, there are many different factors that could affect a person’s lifestyle after a cancer diagnosis."

Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

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