Processed Meats Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

Processed Meats Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

One of the studies that linked processed meat with cancer classed high consumption as 9g a day (equivalent to less than three slices of bacon a week).

"Cutting down processed meat seems beneficial for the prevention of breast cancer", according to lead author Dr. Maryam Farvid, School of Public Health, Harvard University, CNN reported.

It looked at 15 previous studies and found that eating processed meats is associated with a almost 10 percent higher breast cancer risk.

To all women who love bacon and sausages, researchers say that this group may be at risk of breast cancer.

However, experts said the findings should be regarded with caution.

One in nine women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.

In the United Kingdom about 14 out of every 100 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Processed meat is an umbrella term which refers to meats that have been altered, either for preservation or taste purposes.

15 percent of cases occur in women under the age of 44.

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"This systematic review and meta-analysis including prospective cohort studies of red meat and processed meat consumption provides evidence that higher consumption of processed meat is associated with higher risk of breast cancer".

There are different theories for why it may raise the risk of cancer, including that curing salt may react with protein in the meat to make it carcinogenic.

But what exactly are processed meats, and should you be limiting the amount you consume?

It's red meat that tends to have the bad rep when it comes to health, rather than chicken or other poultry.

However, the NHS recommends eating no more than 70g of red and processed meat a day, which is considerably higher than this.

Processed meats are already listed as a carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said the actual risk posed by processed meats was "very small" for the individual and more relevant on a population-wide level.

The study's authors accepted that the previous studies into the connection between processed meat and breast cancer had produced "inconsistent" results.

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