Cancer risks of eating red and processed meat

December 10, 2007

New findings provide evidence that people who eat a lot of red and processed meats have greater risk of developing bowel and lung cancer than people who eat small quantities. The research by Amanda Cross and colleagues at the US National Cancer Institute is published in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine.

The researchers used data from a large US diet and health study, which began in 1995 and involves nearly half a million men and women aged 50-71. Participants--none of whom had had cancer previously--completed a questionnaire about their dietary habits over the previous year. People whose red meat intake was in the top fifth of the range of intakes recorded in the study had an increased risk of developing colorectal, liver, lung and esophageal cancer when compared to people in the lowest fifth of consumption. People in the highest fifth of processed meat intake had an increased risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer. The incidences of other cancers were largely unaffected by meat intake.

These results provide evidence that people who eat a lot of red and processed meats have greater risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer than people who eat small quantities. They also indicate that a high red meat intake is associated with an increased risk of esophageal and liver cancer and that 1 in 10 colorectal and 1 in 10 lung cancers could be avoided if people reduced their red and processed meat intake to the lowest quintile.

The researchers allowed for factors such as smoking that might have affected cancer incidence, but it remains possible that other life-style factors may have had an influence. The study's definitions of red meat and processed meat overlapped; bacon and ham, for example, were included in both categories. Thus, exactly which type of meat causes which type of cancer remains unclear. Most of the study participants were non-Hispanic white, so these findings may not apply to people with different genetic backgrounds. Nevertheless, they add to the evidence that suggests that decreased consumption of red and processed meats could reduce the incidence of several types of cancer.

In another article in the same issue of PLoS Medicine Anita Koushik and Jeanine Genkinger review the key research on the association between meat intake and cancer risk, including this new study.
-end-
Citation: Cross AJ, Leitzmann MF, Gail MH, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, et al. (2007) A prospective study of red and processed meat intake in relation to cancer risk. PLoS Med 4(12): e325. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325

IN YOUR ARTICLE, PLEASE LINK TO THIS URL, WHICH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PUBLISHED PAPER: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-12-cross.pdf

CONTACT:

Dr. Amanda Cross
National Cancer Institute
Div. Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
6120 Executive Blvd, Suite 320
Rockville, MD 20852
United States of America
301-496-4378
crossa@mail.nih.gov

Related PLoS Medicine Research In Translation:

Citation: Genkinger JM, Koushik A (2007) Meat consumption and cancer risk. PLoS Med 4(12): e345. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040345

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040345

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-12-koushik.pdf

CONTACT: Anita Koushik
Université de Montréal
Département de médecine sociale et préventive
Montréal,
Canada
anita.koushik@umontreal.ca

About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org

Everything published by PLoS Medicine is Open Access: freely available for anyone to read, download, redistribute and otherwise use, as long as the authorship is properly attributed.

PLOS

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.