Though some types of tumours are very common, what causes them is unknown. We are aware that certain factors that are easily manageable at the individual level, such as diet, can influence modulation of the risk, so we decided to investigate the role played by eating patterns in this respect.
In 2008 we began a study, MCC-Spain (Multicase Control Spain), the largest to be conducted in Spain, whose goal is to discover what risk factors influence diseases such as breast and colorectal cancers, the most common in our country. We analyse cases of patients with this type of tumours from 23 Spanish hospitals and compare them with healthy individuals. We find that diet is a fundamental difference between both groups.
The people without cancer followed an eating pattern with high content in fruit, vegetables and pulses, and a low intake of red and processed meat. In the case of colorectal cancer, we noted that an antioxidant diet reduced the risk of suffering this tumour in men by 33 %, and in women by 47 %.