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These Common “Fast Food” Meals Could Trigger Cancer?

By on November 11, 2015
The evidence has been piling up, and now a major cancer agency finally confirms it: Processed meat causes cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency affiliated with the World Health Organization, made headlines earlier this week by reporting processed meats are a major carcinogen, raising the risk of colorectal cancer.

Processed meat is now classified in Group 2A of known carcinogens, meaning that it is “probably carcinogenic.”

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” says Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the IARC monographs program. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”

Why Processed Meat is Dangerous

The agency came to this conclusion after 22 scientists from ten countries met in Lyon, France to discuss the possibility of processed meat having carcinogenic effects, or having the ability to cause cancer. More than 800 studies were considered for the review, including different types of cancer and how it affected people of different races, nationalities, and ages.

The primary focus was on colorectal cancer, however, something linked to a higher intake of processed meats, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage.

Unfortunately the news wasn’t good.  Eventually, they estimated that for every 50 gram portion of processed meat people consumed, their risk of colorectal cancer increased by 18 percent.

And no, that’s not a lot: That’s about the equivalent of around two slices of bacon.

“On the basis of the large amount of data and the consistent associations of colorectal cancer with consumption of processed meat across studies in different populations, which make chance, bias, and confounding unlikely as explanations, a majority of the Working Group concluded that there is sufficient evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of processed meat,” write scientists in The Lancet Oncology. “Overall, the Working Group classified consumption of processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.”

In addition to these findings, scientists also found positive associations between the consumption of processed meat and stomach cancer, showing that it could trigger more than one type of cancer. That alone makes it a dangerous substance for many consumers.

Bottom line? Processed meat, even in limited quantities, could be dangerous. Cut it out of your diet if possible.

“These findings further support current public health recommendations to limit intake of meat,” says Dr. Christopher Wild, director of IARC.

Readers: How often do you eat processed meat products?

Sources:
Processed Meat Can Cause CancerScienceDaily.com
Carcinogenicity of Consumption of Red and Processed Meat: International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group (Study)TheLancet.com
IARC Monographs Evaluate Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat Products (Press Release) – IARC.fr

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