Experts estimate that about three out of every 100 colon cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that increases the risk of colon cancer and other cancers. The syndrome affects up to one in 660 people.

There have been many studies investigating the association between specific foods and colorectal cancer in general, now a new study published in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society, looks at food factors in relation to colorectal cancer in patients with Lynch syndrome.

The researchers, Akke Botma, PhD, MSc, of the Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and her colleagues found that indulging in snack foods may increase cancer risk in people with Lynch Syndrome.

"We saw that Lynch syndrome patients who had an eating pattern with higher intakes of snack foods — like fast-food snacks, chips or fried snacks — were twice as likely to develop these polyps as Lynch Syndrome patients having a pattern with lower intakes of snack foods," said Botma.

Prior to this study, the researchers found that smoking and obesity may also heighten the chance of developing colorectal tumors among people with Lynch Syndrome, which suggests that even though they have inherited the high risk of developing cancer, it may be possible to offset this risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including cutting back on junk food.

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Unhealthy snacks may increase colon cancer risk
A new study finds that among those who have a genetic susceptibility to colon cancer, eating junk food affects the risk.