Dietary fiber and colon cancer: The pendulum swings (again)

Colon cancer takes the lives of more than 28,540 American men each year, almost as many as prostate cancer. And it kills nearly as many women, placing it second only to lung cancer on the list of cancer killers. It's a grim statistic, but there is a silver lining. Colon cancer deaths have been steadily declining, in large part due to major efforts at early detection.

Early detection and improved treatment certainly help, but prevention would be even better. Rapidly advancing research into the genetics of the disease holds great promise, but it is still far from clinical deployment. But you don't have to wait for breakthroughs in molecular biology to reduce your risk; act now.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »