Colon Cancer


National Cancer Institute

  • Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

     Benefits 

    There is inadequate evidence that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Based on solid evidence, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the risk of adenomas, but the extent to which this translates into a reduction of colorectal cancer is uncertain.


           Harms 

Based on solid evidence, harms of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use include upper gastrointestinal bleeding and serious cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, and hemorrhagic stroke.[1]


 Postmenopausal Hormone Use

 Benefits 

Based on solid evidence, postmenopausal estrogen plus progesterone hormone use decreases the incidence of colorectal cancer, but this benefit is not applicable to estrogen alone use.[3]


  Harms 

Based on solid evidence, harms of postmenopausal combined estrogen plus progestin hormone use include increased risk of breast cancer, coronary heart disease, and thromboembolic events.

   Polyp Removal

 Benefits 

Based on fair evidence, removal of adenomatous polyps reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.


  Harms 

Based on solid evidence, harms of polyp removal include infrequent perforation of the colon during the procedure as well as bleeding and infection following the procedure.

   Diet Modification 

A Diet Low in Fat and High in Fiber, Fruits, and Vegetables

 Benefits 

There is inadequate evidence to suggest that a diet low in fat and high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables decreases the risk of colorectal cancer.

 Harms 

There are no known harms from dietary modification, including reduction of fatty acids and increase in the intake of fiber, fruits, and vegetables.