In Summary
  • Peanuts and peanut butter — the most commonly consumed nuts in the United States — did not appear to have any significant effect.
  • Eating nuts should not be considered a substitute for standard chemotherapy and other treatments for colon cancer, experts said.

Eating certain kinds of tree nuts, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews, has been linked to a dramatically lower risk of colon cancer recurrence, researchers said Wednesday.

The observational study involved 826 patients who had undergone treatment for stage III colon cancer, typically including surgery and chemotherapy.

Such patients — whose cancer has not spread elsewhere in the body — have a 70 percent chance of surviving three years after treatment.

Some 19 percent of patients consumed two or more ounces of all types of nuts per week.

These nut-eaters saw a 42 percent lower chance of cancer recurrence — and a 57 percent lower chance of death than patients who did not eat nuts after completion of their cancer treatment, said the report, released ahead of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting, held in Chicago next month.

When researchers looked only at tree nut consumption, the chance of recurrence was 46 percent lower and the chance of death was 53 percent lower for those who ate at least two ounces per week, compared to people who did not eat nuts.

NO SIGNIFICANT EFFECT

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