HealthDay News — For patients with colorectal cancer, postdiagnosis total calcium intake may be inversely associated with the risk of death, according to researchers.

“Higher calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product intakes are associated with lower colorectal cancer incidence, but their impacts on colorectal cancer survival are unclear,” wrote Baiyu Yang, of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues. Their findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The correlations of calcium, vitamin D and dairy products with all-cause and colorectal cancer-specific mortality was examined in 2,284 patients diagnosed with invasive, nonmetastatic colorectal cancer.

Continue Reading

Participants were diagnosed from baseline (1992 to 1993) until 2009, and were followed through 2010. The baseline questionnaire was used to collect prediagnosis risk factor information. A postdiagnosis questionnaire was administered to 1,111 patients from 1999 through 2003. Of the 949 patients that died, 408 deaths were from colorectal cancer, according to the inspectors.

In multivariable-adjusted models, there was an inverse association for postdiagnosis total calcium intake and all-cause mortality (relative risk for highest versus lowest quartile, 0.72; 95% CI: 0.53-0.98; P=0.02). Total calcium intake correlated with a marginally statistically significant reduction in colorectal cancer-specific mortality (RR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.33-1.05; P=0.01).

Postdiagnosis milk intake, but not vitamin D intake, was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (RR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.94; P=0.02). There was no associations for prediagnosis calcium, vitamin D, and dairy product consumption with any mortality outcomes, the investigators found.

“Higher postdiagnosis intakes of total calcium and milk may be associated with lower risk of death among patients with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Yang B et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2014; doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.55.3024