Processed Meat Linked to Breast Cancer: New Study

Breast Cancer is one of the most common types of Cancers around the world. It can occur not only in women, but also men. Breast cancer is however far more common in women. There’s high death rate due to breast cancer because its early detection is difficult. So precautionary measures become important to prevent risks of breast cancer. Regular consumption of Processed Meat Linked to Breast Cancer, according to a new study.

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Breast Cancer


How Processed Meat Linked to Breast Cancer

The study suggests regular consumption of high levels of processed meat is linked to a 9% higher risk of breast cancer. The study intended to look into Consumption of red and processed meat and incidence of breast cancer was published in International Journal of Cancer. It analyzed 15 previous studies which examined over 1.2 million women. The study concluded saying high processed meat consumption was associated with increased risk of breast cancer. It also added that consumption of red meat was not a significant cause of breast cancer.

The lead author of the study, Maryam S. Farvid said that the mechanism is not clear, guessing the preservatives in processed meat to be one cause for the link. Nonetheless, she recommended that it is good for women to cut down on processed meat. Maryam Farvid is in fact a researcher in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard.

WHO Guidelines on Processed Meat and Cancer

The new analysis into studies on processed meat is in accordance with earlier guidelines of World Health Organization (WHO). WHO classified processed meat as Group 1 “Carcinogenic to Humans”. It means there’s sufficient evidence from epidemiological studies that suggests processed meat is carcinogenic to humans. WHO calculates about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are due to diets high in processed meat. That however is a small fraction of the 8.2 million cancer deaths in the year 2012.

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Processed Meat Linked to Breast Cancer


Processed Meat and Breast Cancer

Processing involves transforming meat using methods like salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or others. Processing improves taste and/or increases shelf life (preservation) of the meat. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, ham, hot dogs, corned beef, canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.

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Mediterranean diet

Research says notable causes of breast cancer include lifestyle factors, changing hormone levels, environmental factors and genetic aspects to a minor extent. With this in mind, eating healthy and exercising regularly (which is in our control) becomes important in preventing breast cancer. Studies suggest Mediterranean diet is healthy and may prevent breast cancer. It comprises of plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. And as is processed meat linked to breast cancer, watch out on your consumption.


Breast cancer – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

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