Why Eating Meat Can Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer

· May 8, 2017
According to a study, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and ate certain types of meat were much more likely to have problems than those who reduced it in their diet. Learn more in this article!

Women who eat a lot of roasted, smoked, or grilled meats are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who consume less of these products.

Of the different cooking methods, smoking seems to be the most harmful.

Consumption of smoked pork and lamb is associated with a 17% higher chance of mortality from any cause. This goes up to 23% in the case of breast cancer.

There are many active carcinogenic compounds found in grilled or smoked meats. These are formed during the process of organic material combustion.

This is how women may be exposed to carcinogens. These carcinogens are similar to those found in cigarette smoke or air pollution.

These factors are associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Before now, many studies had already associated meats with cancer. Especially meats that were cooked at higher temperatures were linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

These studies had not investigated whether or not the consumption of these meats could affect a patient’s survival rate after the tumor appeared, however.

A study on the determinants of breast cancer

Prior research focused on the fact that exposure to certain chemicals in grilled or smoked meats could increase one’s risk of breast cancer.

In more recent studies, 1508 women were interviewed who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

They were asked about their eating habits between 1996 and 1997. This questionnaire was repeated five years later.

A follow-up study of half of the women after at least 17.6 years found that there had been a total of 597 deaths. 237 deaths were directly related to cancer.

In the most recent study, researchers compared the data from women who rarely ate small amounts of grilled or smoked meats. This was compared to the diets of women who consumed these foods before and after their diagnosis.

The latter group had a 31% higher risk of dying during the study period.

See also: 10 breast cancer warning signs

Poultry and fish, a lower risk

Another important finding was that women who preferred to consume poultry and fish were less likely to die.

That figure was 45% less, compared to those who did not eat those foods.

What could be the difference? Chicken, turkey, and fish have much lower levels of saturated fats than red meat.

Another possible explanation for this difference is the fact that chicken and fish may have a protective effect.

In the case of chicken and turkey, these are “white” meats. They contain proteins that are less aggressive in the body than other options.

Statistics on breast cancer

Thanks to the early detection of cancer, there are better treatments. The number of women who survive breast cancer is increasing.

In Spain, around 26,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year. This amounts to almost 30% of all cancers suffered by women.

Most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 35 and 80. The highest rates of diagnosis are between 45 and 65.

Follow-up care for breast cancer

Follow-up care for this cancer varies according to its type.

It’s normal to have follow-up visits every three to four months for the first two to three years after treatment, and once or twice a year after that.

At your follow-up visits, your doctor will advise you to perform certain tests looking for a recurrence or to detect other types of cancer.

We recommend reading: 7 Early Signs of Bowel Cancer That You Should Not Overlook

It’s important that your doctor helps you determine what follow-up care plan is the most appropriate for your particular case.

Each patient should clarify all of their questions, doubts, or uncertainties related to their follow-up plan with the doctor.

For other types of clinical care, patients can continue to see their general practitioner and other specialists.