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Relationship between meat and cereal consumption and colorectal cancer in Korea and Japan


Professor Hong-Young Moon, Department of Surgery, Korea University Guro Hospital, 80 Guro-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul 152-703, Korea. Email:


Background and Aim:  The incidence of colorectal cancer in Asian countries is increasing. The change to a more westernized diet is known to be related to these increases, and there are reports on the relationship between meat consumption and colorectal cancer in Japan. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between dietary change and colorectal cancer in Korea and Japan.

Methods:  The data of meat and cereal consumption in Japan (1950–2002) and Korea (1970–2003), and the data of colorectal cancer incidence in Japan (1975–1998) and Korea (1992–2002) were investigated with a 20-year difference between the two countries.

Result:  We found that the changes in meat and cereal consumption, as well as the increases in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer, were similar between those two countries with a 20-year difference.

Conclusion:  These similarities between Korea and Japan could be helpful for predicting future colorectal cancer incidences for Korea and other Asian countries.