News / Health

    Red Meat Linked to Breast Cancer in Harvard Study

    FILE- A beef chuck roast is displayed in Philadelphia, April 13, 2007.
    FILE- A beef chuck roast is displayed in Philadelphia, April 13, 2007.

    Related Articles

    Anti-Malaria Plan Could Wipe Out Mosquitoes Without Insecticides

    Scientists have developed insects that produce almost exclusively male offspring, females are the ones that bite

    Activist Group Calls on S. Africa to Declare TB a Public Health Emergency

    Treatment Action Campaign wants national mobilization against the disease

    Texting Could Help Smokers Quit

    Study shows smokers who use text-messaging program to help them quit are twice as successful at quitting compared to a control group
    VOA News
    Eating red meat as an early adult could increase the risk of breast cancer, according to new research.

    Researchers from Harvard University analyzed data on over 88,000 premenopausal women aged 26 to 45 who are taking part in the Nurse’s Health Study II and completed a questionnaire on their eating habits in 1991.

    The Nurse’s Health study has been monitoring the health of female registered nurses since 1976.

    Red meat included unprocessed beef, pork, lamb and hamburger, and processed red meat included hot dogs, bacon and sausage.

    For the questionnaire, the nurses were asked to rate the frequency they ate red meat from among nine categories ranging from “never or less than once per month” to “six or more per day.”
     
    Taking into account factors like age, height, weight, family history and race, the researchers were able to identify 2,830 cases of breast cancer cases over 20 years.
     
    Using statistical modeling, the researchers say they were able to estimate breast cancer risks for women with different diets. They said that for each increase from among the nine options for red meat consumption, there was an increase in developing breast cancer.
     
    Researchers said a higher intake of red meat was associated with a 22 percent increase in risk of breast cancer. Each additional serving per day upped the risk by 13 percent.
     
    Substituting chicken for one serving of red meat per day actually reduced the risk of breast cancer by 17 percent, the study said.
     
    In concluding, the study’s authors said that eating a lot of red meat in early adulthood "may be a risk factor for breast cancer, and replacing red meat with a combination of legumes, poultry, nuts and fish may reduce the risk of breast cancer."
     
    They cautioned, however that further study of the relation between diet in early adulthood and cancer is needed.
     
    A diet high in red meat has long been linked to colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, but its relationship to breast cancer has been little understood.
     
    Not all were convinced by the study.
     
    “As several researchers who have analyzed this study have already pointed out, the totality of the available evidence indicates that red meat consumption has little or no effect on breast cancer risk,” said the American Meat Institute’s vice president for scientific affairs, Betsy Booren, PhD in an emailed statement.
     
    “This study with extremely weak associations based on self-reported food intake doesn’t add much to our current knowledge on this complex condition. It is well known that the best steps women can take to reduce their breast cancer risk are maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking.”
     
    Another expert said the study was not definitive.
     
    "The women who ate less red meat may have a healthier lifestyle, and that reduces their risk of cancer, Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City told the website Healthday. “The increased risk tied to red meat might only stand in for other unhealthy behaviors," she said. "A healthy lifestyle can lower your risk of cancer in general."
     
    Mia Gaudet, director of genetic epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, told the Associated Press that eating red meat as an early adult could be connected to increased risk of developing breast cancer.
     
    "Breasts are still developing and are more susceptible to carcinogens before women have their first full-term pregnancy," she said.
     
    The American Cancer Society recommends people eat a "plant-based" diet.

    "It's important to have a healthy lifestyle throughout your life and not just as you get older and more worried about cancer," Gaudet told the AP. "People should perhaps consider ordering a salad or a vegetarian option sometime."

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rod Trent
    June 12, 2014 12:51 PM
    The study is flawed. It doesn't take into account that man-induced hormones in red meat could be the actual cause.

    by: Galahad from: Blandings
    June 11, 2014 6:58 PM
    That picture of the joint of beef is weird - where's the fat?

    See the work of Weston A Price, who found that communities eating nutrient dense food were the healthiest, and by nutrient dense food he meant organ meat, animal fat, fish, eggs, and fermented food

    http://www.westonaprice.org/

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.