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Processed Meat Could Raise Pancreatic Cancer Risk

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Some possible bad news for all the bacon lovers out there.

A new review in the British Journal of Cancer suggests a link between processed meats -- like bacon and sausages -- and an increased pancreatic cancer risk.

In particular, eating an extra 50 grams a day of processed meat -- or about a sausage -- is enough to raise pancreatic cancer risk by 19 percent, BBC News reported, while an extra 100 grams of processed meat a day could raise the cancer risk by 38 percent.

"The authors of this study have suggested that one of the reasons could be that some of the chemicals that are used to preserve processed meat are turned in our bodies into some really harmful chemicals which can affect our DNA and increase the chance of cancer," Jessica Harris, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, told Sky News.

BBC News pointed out that the overall risk of pancreatic cancer is relatively low, though. However, other research has signaled a link between processed meat and other kinds of cancers, including colorectal cancer.

The review by Karolinska Institute researchers included an analysis of data from 11 different studies, which overall included 6,643 pancreatic cancer cases, the Guardian reported.

"Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates," study researcher Susanna Larsson told the Guardian. "So as well as diagnosing it early, it's important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease."

Last year, Harvard researchers found that people who eat a 3.5-ounce serving of processed meat a day -- about two slices of bacon, or a hot dog -- have a 51 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

And people who eat one 100-gram serving of red, unprocessed meat -- the size of a deck of cards -- a day have a 19 percent increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Around the Web

Pancreatic cancer warning: Processed meat every day raises risk ...

BBC News - Processed meat 'linked to pancreatic cancer'

 
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