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Study Looks at Impact of High-Carb Diet on Colon Cancer Treatment

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High-carb diets may lead to cancer recurrence or death for late-stage colon cancer patients, according to a new study. High glycemic diets, which include breads and baked goods, also can lead to the same outcomes.

Researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Meyerhardt of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, looked at data submitted by 1,000 stage-three colon cancer patients. After evaluating the effects of carbohydrates, fructose and glycemic loads on colon cancer treatment, they found a link between the cancer and the carbs and glycemic load intake.

The study's authors, who reported their findings Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, say the research points to a greater need for attention to obesity and exercise.  Other studies have shown that obesity and inactivity also increase risk of cancer recurrence and death.

Some diet and nutrition experts say the study's findings are merely observational and are not indicative a cause-and-effect relationship.

"We cannot make dietary recommendations based on this study alone," Lona Sandon, a registered dietician and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told HealthDay.

"And it is insufficient to change recommendations [about diet] that already exist; that is, maintain a healthy weight, increase physical activity and choose a healthy diet with limited excess sugars," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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