Are you a female? Do you love read meat? Then you might have a higher risk of contracting cancer.
Red meat has been linked to yet another disease; breast cancer and this time the unsuspecting victims are younger women, say researchers. According to a recently conducted study, women who often indulge their cravings for hamburgers, steaks and other red meat may have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
Increased consumption of red meat has always been associated with increased risk of cancers including those of the colon and pancreas. However, this new researches links red meat to cancer of the breasts.
Harvard University analyzed data from more than 88,000 women aged 26 to 45 who had filled in surveys in 1991. Their red meat intake varied from never or less than once a month, to six or more servings a day. Initial results of the study were first published in 2006 and showed a preliminary link between eating red meat and breast cancer after 12 years. However, the new research confirmed the earlier findings with longer follow-up information, and analyzed other types of breast cancer, reported Forbes
Using a simple statistical model, scientists estimated that in women who ate the most amount of red meat, there were an extra 6.8 cases of breast cancer for every 1,000 women over 20 years of follow-up. In conclusion, the researchers estimate that regular red meat consumption could contribute to a 20% increased risk of contracting breast cancer. If that’s not a really small number, researchers couldn’t rule out the possibility that other factors might explain the apparent link between red meat and breast cancer.
So is the research conclusive? Though the findings are still up for debate in the medical community, excessive consumption of red meat is never a good idea. Scientists firmly believe proteins in red meat speed up cell division and tumor growth. What fuels their confidence is the presence of chemicals such as nitrates in processed meats, which were reported by The Inquisitr as one of the reasons to cause an early death. These chemicals are already classified as ‘probable carcinogens’. Some of these chemicals are commonly found in cigarette smoke.
Though red meat consumption in the developed countries doesn’t vary wildly than the developing ones, women in developed countries have about 12.5 percent chance of developing breast cancer and hence doctors routinely advise breast self-examination to identify lumps which could be cancerous tumors.
Though the findings in the research may not have substantial data to conclusively link red meat consumption with breast cancer, women who wish to avoid risk have a very simple solution – switch to chicken. Another study has apparently found out that replacing three slices of beef or two rashers of bacon with a portion of chicken can significantly reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, reported The Telegraph. Additionally, women should also eat a lot of fish, legumes and nuts as they are rich in proteins and help to substantially ward off risk of cancer.