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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid