Eating meat associated with lung cancer risk

(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Meat raises lung cancer risk, too, study finds

By Maggie Fox, Health & Science Editor

People who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats have a higher risk of several types of cancer, including lung cancer and colorectal cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The work is the first big study to show a link between meat and lung cancer.  It also shows that people who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of liver and esophageal cancer and that men raise their risk of pancreatic cancer by eating red meat.

“A decrease in the consumption of red and processed meat could reduce the incidence of cancer at multiple sites,” Dr. Amanda Cross and colleagues at the U.S. National Cancer Institute wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.  The researchers studied 500,000 people aged 50 to 71 who took part in a diet and health study done in conjunction with the AARP, formerly the American Association for Retired Persons.  After eight years, 53,396 cases of cancer were diagnosed. “Statistically significant elevated risks (ranging from 20 percent to 60 percent) were evident for esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer, comparing individuals in the highest with those in the lowest quin-tile of red meat intake,” the researchers wrote.

The people in the top 20 percent of eating processed meat had a 20 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer — mostly rectal cancer — and a 16 percent higher risk for lung cancer. “Furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver,” the researchers wrote.  These differences held even when smoking was accounted for.  “Red meat intake was not associated with gastric or bladder cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or melanoma,” added the researchers, whose study is freely available here.

Red meat was defined as all types of beef, pork and lamb. Processed meat included bacon, red meat sausage, poultry sausage, luncheon meats, cold cuts, ham and most types of hot dogs including turkey dogs.  Meats can cause cancer by several routes, the researchers noted. “For example, they are both sources of saturated fat and iron, which have independently been associated with carcinogenesis,” the researchers wrote.  Meat is also a source of several chemicals known to cause DNA mutations, including N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Jeanine Genkinger of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Anita Koushik of the University of Montreal said the findings fit in with other research.  “Meat consumption in relation to cancer risk has been reported in over a hundred epidemiological studies from many countries with diverse diets,” they wrote in a commentary.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Eric Beech)


About C. Rae White

I'm a proud 6th generation Detroiter, a creative who loves working with my hands and a fashion fanatic with a thing for shoes, bags and jewelry. I'm a family researcher who loves discovering the details of my ancestors lives. Thanks for stopping by!
This entry was posted in Health and wellness, News and politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Eating meat associated with lung cancer risk

  1. the wordsmith says:

    You know I didn’t want to hear this one.  First of all, when did pork become a "red meat"?  According to these type of reports, we can’t eat anything.  Now, we can’t even eat luncheon meat, poultry sausages, basically everything that I like to eat.  "At risk" doesn’t quite do it for me.  Either you have it or you don’t.  "At risk"?  Possibly?  Maybe?  I can just about guarantee that lab rats were first exposed to more meat than any one person would consume in three lifetimes and came to these conclusions before experimenting on humans.  With all that consumption, anyone would die.   You know that I really do believe that.  I also believe that a change in diet has got to be made.  That means don’t hit me too hard.  You know I’m coming around.  Peace.

  2. Chocolate Matters says:

    Still not convincing enough for me to become a vegan but I already feel I have reduced as least some of the amount of meat I eat.  I don’t eat at McDonald’s/Burger/Wendy’s anymore.  Cancer seems to have some really obscure causes if you ask me.

  3. C. Rae White says:

    Chocolate: The causes of cancer are clear and concise:  If you cronically suffer from the following you can expect that you are at a much higher risk for getting cancer.
    *Stress: In medical terms, stress is the disruption of homeostasis through physical or psychological stimuli. Stressful stimuli can be mental, physiological, anatomical or physical[1] reactions.
    Quick Links: Types of stress – Adaptation to stress – General Adaptation Syndrome
    *Malnutrition: Poor nutrition because of an insufficient or poorly balanced diet or faulty digestion or utilization of foods. Additional references: Columbia Encyclopedia, Wikipedia

    Yahoo! Shortcut – About
    *Dehydration: NOT DRINKING ENOUGH CLEAN/FILTERED WATER EVERYDAY! Excessive loss of body water.  Symptoms and signs of dehydration include increasing thirst, dry mouth, weakness or feeling light headed (particularly if worse on standing), and a darkening of the urine or a decrease in urination. Severe dehydration can lead to changes in the body’s chemistry, kidney failure, and become life-threatening.
    Also, you must have a compromised immune system to actually develop cancer.
    Blackstarr: You can eat whatever you want in moderation, within a balanced diet including lots of clean water and a regular cleansing program.

  4. Chocolate Matters says:

    What I mean is that everyday, the seems to be some new causes for cancer found by doctors.  I know people who have smoked for years and never developed any cancer in their system.  To me cancer is not so clear cut as to who can and cannot get it.  Definitely certain factors can contribute to the likely hood of you getting it but it is not definite that you will. 

  5. C. Rae White says:

    Chocolate:  Please forgive my tone in my last response.  I didn’t mean to jump all over your comment. You make a valid point.
    I think this article helps us to understand that those who get lung cancer and have never smoked or lived around a cronic smoker will better understand the other potential causes of Lung cancer.  Over the past decade or so, many non-smokers have died of lung cancer with seemingly no direct cause (such as smoking).  This study helps us to understand that there are other factors (such as eating red and other processed meat) that will cause lung cancer (and other types too).
    Actually, much of this information is not new, we have known for decades that nitrates in processed meat (bacon, cold cuts, ground meats, hot dogs and sausage, etc…) are carcinogenic.  I think this study just goes into a bit more detail and calls out the specific  types of cancer.
    My only point is that we need to be mindful of how we care for our bodies.  If we intend to live long and fully funtional lives, we need to remember that we are what we eat, what we put on our bodies goes directly into our systems and we are affected by everything within our immediate environment.

  6. Chocolate Matters says:

    It is quite okay to get a little heated,  that happens when you have civilized, intelligent adults having a good discussion. The disagreements that can arise make it that much more interesting for me at least.  I learned something from this article that as you said that we need to be mindful of the foods we eat because in essence they can be really harmful for our health. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s