Patients with stage III colon cancer who consume at least 2 ounces of tree nuts every week may have a considerable reduction in their chance of cancer recurrence, and their risk of mortality may be reduced by more than half if they consume the recommended amount.
In this regard, the findings of a new study, which will be presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which will be held next month in Chicago, IL, come to this conclusion.
According to the findings of the new study, regular consumption of tree nuts may minimise the risk of cancer recurrence after therapy for stage III colon cancer and may even enhance patient survival.
Cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans are all types of tree nuts, and a number of studies have demonstrated that they may have health-promoting properties.
Among other things, one study published in 2014 found that tree nut consumption was associated with decreased risks for obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Other studies have found that tree nuts are associated with improved heart health.
Dr. Temidayo Fadelu, of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues conducted this latest study to determine whether overall nut intake or tree nut consumption alone might be beneficial for patients with colon cancer. They found that both were beneficial.
Patients with colon cancer should incorporate tree nuts in their diet as part of a well-balanced nutritional plan.
The data of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer were evaluated by the researchers in order to obtain their conclusions. The patients were participants in a Cancer and Leukemia Group B clinical trial that began in 1999 and had undergone chemotherapy at the time of their diagnosis.
Patients were needed to complete a dietary questionnaire in order to participate in the study. Dr. Fadelu and colleagues used this information to calculate the patients’ weekly nut intake and to determine whether this was associated with the risk of colon cancer recurrence and survival. Dr. Fadelu and colleagues
Patients who ingested at least 2 ounces of nuts every week were shown to have a 42 percent lower chance of colon cancer recurrence and a 57 percent lower risk of mortality when compared to those who did not consume nuts.
Researchers discovered that only tree nut eating had benefits; the chance of colon cancer recurrence was 46 percent lower for patients who consumed at least 2 ounces of tree nuts each week, while the risk of death was 53 percent lower.
A significant reduction in cancer recurrence or death was not found to be connected with the use of peanuts or peanut butter in a recent study.
Dr. Fadelu and colleagues indicate that individuals with colon cancer may benefit from consuming tree nuts in their diet, based on their findings.
“It should be emphasized that the authors are not suggesting that eating nuts should be considered a substitute for standard chemotherapy and other treatments for colon cancer, which have dramatically improved survival.
Rather, patients with colon cancer should be optimistic, and they should eat a healthy diet, including tree nuts, which may not only keep them healthier, but may also further decrease the chances of the cancer coming back.”
Dr. David Hayes, ASCO president
In future studies, the researchers hope to learn more about how tree nut consumption affects the risk of cancer recurrence and death in individuals with colon cancer who are in their latter stages.
The researchers say that they want to learn more about how nuts confer this protective effect, and that they may eventually conduct a randomised, controlled clinical trial in which diet recommendations are given at the start of the study to demonstrate that tree nuts can reduce recurrence and death after treatment for colon cancer.