Tree nuts can lower colon cancer recurrence, death risk



Consuming at least 2 ounces of tree nuts every week may significantly reduce the risk of cancer recurrence for patients who have been treated for stage III colon cancer, and it could more than halve their risk of death.

The new study, however, suggests that regular consumption of tree nuts may lower the likelihood of cancer recurrence following treatment for stage III colon cancer and improve patient survival.

Cashew nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans are all tree nuts, and a number of studies have documented their potential health benefits.

For this latest study, lead author Dr Temidayo Fadelu, of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, and colleagues set out to investigate whether overall nut intake or tree nut consumption alone might benefit patients with colon cancer.

For the trial, patients were required to complete a dietary questionnaire. Dr Fadelu and colleagues used this information to calculate the patients’ weekly intake of nuts, and whether this was associated with the risk of colon cancer recurrence and survival.

Compared with patients who did not eat nuts, those who consumed at least 2 ounces of nuts every week were found to have a 42 percent lower risk of colon cancer recurrence and a 57 percent reduced risk of death.

Based on their results, Dr Fadelu and colleagues suggest that patients with colon cancer may benefit from including tree nuts in their diet.

Dr David Hayes, ASCO president said that “It should be emphasised 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 cancer coming back.”