Video: Red Meat Consumption and Breast Cancer Risk

grilled meat steak diet french fries dinner

Here is a link to a CNN video examining the relationship between red meat consumption and breast cancer. While no definitive link has been established, this study suggests that earlier consumption (say, in your 30s) may increase risk.

CLICK HERE: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/health/2014/06/14/pkg-red-meat-increases-breast-cancer-risk.cnn.html

I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad: Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

Breast Cancer Risk Increases as Red Meat Intake Increases

Fresh raw beef on cutting board red meat

What You Need to Know: Higher red meat intake in early adulthood might be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and women who eat more legumes — such as peas, beans and lentils — poultry, nuts and fish might be at lower risk in later life, suggests a paper.

Background: Studies have suggested no significant association between red meat intake and breast cancer. However, most have been based on diet during midlife and later, and many lines of evidence suggest that some exposures, potentially including dietary factors, may have greater effects on the development of breast cancer during early adulthood.

The Evidence: A team of US researchers investigated the association between dietary protein sources in early adulthood and risk of breast cancer. They analyzed data from 88,803 premenopausal women (aged 26 to 45) taking part in the Nurses’ Health Study II who completed a questionnaire on diet in 1991.

  • Red meat items included unprocessed red meat (beef, pork, or lamb and hamburger) and processed red meat (such as hot dogs, bacon and sausage); poultry included chicken and turkey; fish included tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines; legumes included beans, lentils and peas; and nuts.
  • Nine categories of intake frequency were recorded from “never or less than once per month” to “six or more per day.”
  • Factors such as age, height, weight, race, family history of breast cancer, history of benign breast disease, smoking, menopausal status, hormone and oral contraceptive use were taken into account. Adolescent food intake was also measured and included foods that were commonly eaten from 1960 to 1980, when these women would have been in high school.

Medical records identified 2,830 cases of breast cancer during 20 years of follow-up. Putting these real life data into a statistical model allowed the researchers to estimate breast cancer risks for women with different diets. They estimated that, for each step-by-step increase in the women’s consumption of red meat, there was a step-by-step increase in the risk of getting breast cancer over the 20 year study period.

Specifically, the statistical model worked out the number of cases of breast cancer during the total years of follow up for all the women in the study (rate/person years).

For example, the model estimated that there would be 493 cases of breast cancer over 306,298 person years among women with the lowest intake of red meat. This compared with 553 cases per 31,169 person years among women with the highest intake.

  • Higher intake of red meat was associated with a 22% increased risk of breast cancer overall. Each additional serving per day of red meat was associated with a 13% increase in risk of breast cancer (12% in premenopausal and 8% in postmenopausal women).
  • In contrast, estimates showed a lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with higher consumption of poultry. Substituting one serving per day of poultry for one serving per day of red meat was associated with a 17% lower risk of breast cancer overall and a 24% lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Furthermore, substituting one serving per day of combined legumes, nuts, poultry, and fish for one serving per day of red meat was associated with a 14% lower risk of breast cancer overall and premenopausal breast cancer.

The authors conclude that higher red meat intake 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.” Further study of the relation between diet in early adulthood and risk of breast cancer is needed, they add.

I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad: Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

References:

  • M. S. Farvid, E. Cho, W. Y. Chen, A. H. Eliassen, W. C. Willett. Dietary protein sources in early adulthood and breast cancer incidence: prospective cohort study. BMJ, 2014; 348 (jun10 3): g3437 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.g3437
  • BMJ-British Medical Journal. “Estimated risk of breast cancer increases as red meat intake increases, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140610205257.htm>.

Red Meat Tied to Colon Cancer Risk Among Those With Specific Genetic Variant

Fresh raw beef on cutting board red meatRed and processed meat consumption was significantly associated with colorectal cancer risk in patients who had a common gene mutation, researchers recently an-nounced. The variant is located on the same chromosome 10 region as GATA3, “a transcription factor gene previously linked to several forms of cancer” that normally plays a role in the immune system, Figueiredo said in a presentation at the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium in Boston, Mass. Possible mechanisms of action include a gut microbiome that differs by dietary habits, or it may be possible that processed meat triggers a pro-tumorigenic inflammatory or immunological response, the authors suggested.

My Take: If confirmed, these findings have public health significance, as diet is a modifiable risk factor for colorectal cancer. We are getting closer to the day when we can advise individuals on their personal risk factors for particular cancers. It may be that some may consume meat without harm, while others may want to significantly scale back consumption, given their personal genetics. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minuteable now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

Reference: Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium; Figueiredo J, et al “Genome-wide analysis highlights gene interaction with processed meat and vegetable intake for colorectal cancer risk” GECCO 2013.

Red Meat and Cancer: What’s The Beef?

Roast beef cooked under high heat
Roast beef cooked under high heat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With a nod to Oprah, I’ll say it: Please (beef industry), don’t sue me! Today, let’s take a brief look at the relationship between red meat and various cancers.

Prostate cancer: Positive association between prostate cancer and high intake of red meat cooked at high temperatures, pan-fried, or well-done.

Pancreas cancer: No link to red or processed meat or fish; possible link to high consumption of poultry.

Bladder cancer: Processed meats may raise risk.

Esophagus cancer: Studies of studies (meta-analyses) appear to increase risk. Higher fish intake lowers risk.

Lung cancer: High red meat intake increases risk (by 35%).

Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer): Fish reduces risk.

Kidney cancer: Red meat increases risk for renal cell carcinoma.

Breast cancer: Not consistently linked to meat intake.

Uterus cancer: Modest association between heme iron, total iron, and liver intake (not with red or processed meats). Other studies have not linked red or processed meat with uterus cancer.

In summary, red meat is one dietary factor that can increase your risk of getting certain cancers. In future blogs, we’ll dive a bit deeper to better understand the association, and what you can do to lower risk. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

Reference: http://www.medcape.com/viewarticle/806573