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Does the role that vitamin D plays in colorectal cancer differ according to gender and tumor site?

Posted on: October 25, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas


In a new study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers suggest that vitamin D’s protective effects against colorectal cancer differ by gender and where the tumor is located.

Colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States, includes both cancer of the colon and the rectum. In the colon, symptoms and prognosis of cancer differ depending on where it is located in the colon.

The colon is divided into two main sections: the proximal colon and distal colon. The proximal colon consists of the first and middle part of the colon. It makes up the entire right side of the colon, the part of the colon that goes across the body, and the part that connects to the small intestine.

The distal colon is the last part of the colon and is smaller than the proximal colon. It makes up the entire left side of the colon and the part that connects to the rectum.

Cancer in the distal colon was much more common until recently, when it changed to a trend of increased tumors being found in the proximal colon. Furthermore, proximal colon tumors tend to be larger.

The different pathologies of site-specific colon cancer has led many health experts to call for a more specified and targeted approach to screening, diagnosing and treating colon cancer.

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2 Responses to Does the role that vitamin D plays in colorectal cancer differ according to gender and tumor site?

  1. Rita and Misty

    Jeff, I certainly agree that the “dose was low at 800 IU/day, which limits the ability of the study to assess the true impact of vitamin D supplementation among this population.” Let’s raise a glass of red wine (or grape juice if you prefer) to that conclusion. 😉

  2. Rebecca Oshiro

    This study is especially interesting in light of the Lappe et al study:


    Vitamin D and calcium in combination significantly reduced cancer incidence in post-menopausal women.

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