Red meat raises cancer risk

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  • Red meat 'can raise risk of cancer by 25%'

    A new report out today warns that consuming large amounts of red meat means you are more likely to be at risk of developing cancer.

    Scientists believe that one in ten cases of lung and bowel cancer could be avoided if the population reduced its consumption of beef, lamb, pork, sausages, ham and bacon.

    The study has revealed that the risks of liver cancer and cancer of the oesophagus are also higher when eating big portions of red meat.

    The research, surveying 500,000 people, continues to highlight recent reports that too much meat in the diet can be extremely bad for your health.

    A report from the World Cancer Research Fund in November this year warned that red meat was a major factor in contracting cancer. It said processed meat should be cut from the diet altogether and no more than the equivalent of three 6oz steaks should be eaten a week.

    The latest report today, published in the science journal, PLoS Medicine, has delivered a similar verdict. Volunteers for the study, aged between 50 and 71, completed detailed questionnaires on their dietary habits, meaning scientists were able to determine what proportion of their calories came from red and processed meat.

    Those who ate the most red meat were 25% more likely to be diagnosed with bowel cancer and 20% more likely to develop lung cancer. For those who ate processed meat, the increased risk was 20% and 16% respectively.

    However last month’s World Cancer Research Fund report deduced that alcohol and obesity were the biggest causes of cancer.

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