(HealthDay News) — Healthy living can lower the odds for colorectal cancer (CRC) for men who are at high genetic risk for the disease, according to research published online recently in Genetics in Medicine.

The new study was coauthored by two London-based researchers, Matthew Frampton, Ph.D., of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Richard Houlston, M.D., of The Institute of Cancer Research. The team analyzed data on CRC incidence and deaths collected between 2001 and 2012 by the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics. Focus was placed on 1,401,447 British men in their late 50s.

Mathematical models revealed that nearly a quarter of men between 55 and 59 had genes that raised their odds of getting CRC to a rate that was similar to men already aged 60 or above. The same analysis found that these men bore a 29 percent risk of developing CRC over the next 25 years. In the end, 1,264 of these 50-something men with the genetic risk genes developed CRC. But healthy living reduced the odds for CRC risk — even among these genetically disadvantaged men.

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Overall, adopting a healthy lifestyle cut their 25-year risk for the disease from 29 percent to as low as 13 percent, the research team reported. The researchers estimated that if 10,000 men with the highest inherited risk for CRC adopted the healthiest possible lifestyle, 610 could be spared CRC over the next 25 years.

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