A ten year study in Denmark has determined that healthy lifestyle practices decrease the chances of colorectal cancer by 23%. A healthy lifestyle is controlled by customized planning of exercise, diets, weight watching and detrimental cravings like smoking and alcohol consumption.

55,487 men and women were chosen for this study, followed for a decade ending in 2006. Participants were given five healthy lifestyle recommendations after a survey that took into account their current healthful practices. A discouraging 1% of participants followed all the administered practices to the book. Their risk of colorectal cancer was cut by 23%. A healthy lifestyle index was calculated from the data. Diet was an influencing factor for high index values.

Researchers established that a predominantly vegetarian diet especially rich in dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables and low meat content contributes to high index values. In a significant percentage of people, cancer could have been avoided by addition of merely one more recommendation.

People from westernized countries and men in general are admittedly more susceptible to colorectal cancer. Hence healthy lifestyle practices do not include a westernized lifestyle and in fact it is a major risk factor for developing colorectal cancer. The authors claim that - “Our study reveals the useful public health message that even modest differences in lifestyle might have a substantial impact on colorectal cancer risk and emphasizes the importance of continuing vigorous efforts to convince people to follow the lifestyle recommendations.”

The fearsome history of colorectal cancer’s prevalence in the United States alone makes these confirmatory findings an added evidence of association between healthy lifestyle practices and colorectal cancer. According to American Cancer Society, in the United States alone, colorectal cancer comes second in deaths caused by cancer with a little over half a million deaths expected this year. During this period, 678 people developed colorectal cancer.