Lifestyle after Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Survival and Recurrence: A Review of the Literature

Moniek van Zutphen*, Ellen Kampman, Edward L. Giovannucci, Fränzel J.B. van Duijnhoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: This review summarizes the evidence regarding diet, physical activity, smoking, and body composition after colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis in relation to all-cause and CRC-specific mortality and disease recurrence and gives suggestions for future research directions. Recent Findings: Overall, this review suggests that some, albeit not all, of the well-known modifiable risk factors for cancer incidence might also be associated with CRC survival. CRC prognosis appears to be worse with increased physical inactivity, smoking, or being underweight after CRC diagnosis. Emerging evidence suggests that diets associated with a positive energy balance, e.g., high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, may negatively impact survival in CRC survivors. In contrast, there is currently little evidence to support the recommendation to limit red and processed meat or alcohol intake after CRC diagnosis. Whether being overweight and obese after CRC diagnosis improves or worsens CRC prognosis remains controversial and may depend on the measure used to assess body fatness. Summary: Further research on post-diagnosis lifestyle patterns is needed to understand the multifactorial influence on CRC prognosis. Disease recurrence and the development of comorbidities should be included as key outcomes in future studies and lifestyle should preferably be repeatedly measured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-401
JournalCurrent Colorectal Cancer Reports
Issue number5
Early online date14 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Alcohol
  • Body composition
  • Body mass index
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Smoking
  • Survival


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