Trace element zinc deficiency or excess is implicated in the development or progression of some cancers. The exact role of zinc in the etiology of colon cancer is unclear. To cast light on this question, an experimental model of colon carcinogenesis was applied here. Six week old rats were given sub cutaneous injections of DMH (30 mg/kg body weight) twice a week for three months and sacrificed after 4 months (precancer model) and 6 months (cancer model). Plasma zinc levels showed a significant decrease (p<0.05) at 4 months and a greater significant decrease at 6 months (p<0.01) as compared with controls. In the large intestine there was a significant decrease in tissue zinc levels (p<0.005) and in CuZnSOD, and alkaline phosphatase activity (p<0.05) in the pre-cancerous model and a greater significant decrease in tissue zinc (p<0.0001), and in CuZnSOD and alkaline phosphatase activity (p<0.001), in the carcinoma model. The tissue zinc levels showed a significant decrease in the small intestine and stomach (p<0.005) and in liver (p<0.05) in the cancer model. 87% of the rats in the precancer group and 92% rats in the cancer group showed histological evidence of precancerous lesions and carcinomas respectively in the colon mucosa. This study suggests that the decrease in plasma zinc, tissue zinc and activity of zinc related enzymes are associated with the development of preneoplastic lesions and these biochemical parameters further decrease with progression to carcinoma in the colon.