Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) (2014), colorectal cancer (CRC) is the "3rd leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States"(p. 3). Researches have hypothesized how dietary habits could increase an individual's risk of developing CRC. Diets high in red meat for example, have long been thought to produce carcinogens through cooking and digestive processes. These carcinogens damage colon DNA, leading to neoplastic changes (Raskov, Pommergaard, Burcharth, & Rosenberg, 2014). On the other hand, fiber has been suggested as having a protective nature to individuals with CRC risk. Throughout this literature review a case involving 65-year-old female from North Dakota will be explored. She presented with a chief complaint of loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, constipation, and blood in her stool. After undergoing diagnostic evaluation, she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the colon. Searching the electronic databases of Pub Med and CINA.BL, as well as reviewing cited references from obtained articles completed a literature review. All articles were published between 2009~2015 from varying countries including United States, Japan, Europe, and Canada. In the following sections 10 studies will explore how an individual's diet could impact their risk of CRC. In conclusion, studies have shown diets high in red meats have the ability to increase an individual's risk of CRC. While diets high in vegetables and fiber can have a protective nature against CRC. The clinical benefit of this review is providing patients with this information to help lower CRC risk especially in those who have genetic predisposition.