This month SCPN has invited regular SCPN newsletter contributors to tell us about what they have been reading on cancer prevention during 2015. We asked for one paper they thought valuable to share. Our next contributor is Professor Annie S Anderson.

Title: Obesity, aspirin and risk of colorectal cancer in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: a prospective investigation in the CAPP2 study

Authors: Mohammad MovahediD. Timothy Bishop,Finlay Macrae et al.



Why is this paper important?

Many people believe that having a genetic disposition to colorectal cancer negates any attempt to decrease risk by lifestyle or chemoprevention. This paper describes a follow up of 937 patients with Lynch syndrome (the commonest hereditary cause of bowel cancer) of which 55 developed colorectal cancer (CRC). For obese participants, CRC risk was 2.41 greater than for underweight and normal-weight participants and CRC risk increased by 7% for each 1-kg/mincrease in body mass index. The risk of all Lynch syndrome related cancers in obese people was 1.77 greater than for the reference group (BMI, 24.99 kg/m2).

 Main take home messages

It is clear that obesity is associated with a substantially increased risk of developing significant neoplasia. Whilst the risk can be reduced by aspirin there are strong indications that obesity prevention should be a part of Lynch syndrome management. Possible mechanisms point to the inflammatory effects of greater body fatness.

Yet another reason why obesity needs to be addressed in cancer prevention settings.