Sugary Drinks and Colon Cancer

Craving a pink lemonade or soda? Think again.

It was previously believed that sugary drinks only lead to health-related issues such as diabetes, weight gain, and high blood pressure. However, recent evidence has shown that sugary drinks are linked to colon cancer, especially in younger female patients. A recent study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that 109 women of 116,500 patients developed colon cancer before turning 50. Those who are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer or have a family history have a much greater chance if they consume a surplus of sugary drinks during their teen years. Drinking even one sugary beverage has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer development. While this information was conducted in a study on mostly White women, it should also raise concern for Black women, especially since they are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than any other racial group. 

Some symptoms of colon cancer to beware of include changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, back pain, and fatigue. In order to detect colon cancer earlier, it is now recommended that colorectal cancer screenings begin at age of 45. Several other beneficial steps to take include increasing exercise; eating a diet lower in fried foods, salt, and sugar, and higher in fresh fruit and vegetables; and avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Increasing the amount of at-home testing has allowed patients to receive earlier, less invasive colorectal cancer screenings which have helped to discover thousands of cancer cases early.

So, the next time you are having a sweet tooth craving, try opting for milk or water instead.