Meat intake may not be linked to breast cancer

May 27, 2009 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Meat intake may not be linked to breast cancer

There's no link between eating meat -- total meat, red meat, processed meat, or meat cooked at high temperatures -- and the risk of breast cancer in older women, say researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York

In this new study, 120,755 postmenopausal women volunteered information on what they ate and how often they ate different types of meat between 1995 and 1996. They also provided information on their methods of meat cooking (grilling, baking, broiling, etc.)

Over an average of eight years, 3818 women developed breast cancer.

Breast cancer risk was not associated with intake of total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, or meat cooked at high temperatures, or level of doneness of the meat, write the scientists in the May 2009 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Some studies have found that women who eat a lot of red and processed meat are more likely to develop breast cancer than other women; but other studies have found no such link. Likewise, there have been inconsistent results from studies investigating saturated fat (found mainly in animal products) and breast cancer risk.

Breast cancer is the is the most common cancer among Canadian women with 22,700 new diagnoses this year, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Risk factors that you can change include: management of overweight and obesity, and decreased or complete abstinence from alcohol.

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