Over the weekend it was National Cancer Day (4th Feb) and as part of this, I wrote a summary for our clinic patients about the evidence linking meat consumption to certain cancers. You can read it here.
The upshot is: the evidence supports the classification of processed meats as a definite cause of cancer, and red meat a probable cause. This was most strongly associated with colorectal cancer, but also linked to pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers. The more you eat, the greater your risk. However, the literature doesn’t point to a specific amount of meat that’s healthy or, conversely, too much. It’s also important to remember that there are numerous factors implicated in the development of cancer (such as genetics and alcohol intake) and some that pose a significantly higher risk (such as smoking). Nonetheless, it should serve to remind us of the ‘everyday’ risks we regularly expose ourselves to through diet and lifestyle.
You can read the full summary of findings in the December 2015 issue of The Lancet Oncology.