How much processed meat do you eat?
Eating processed meats such as bacon or sausage may increase a person's risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a new survey.
A study by the British Journal of Cancer pooled together 11 other studies involving 6,643 people with pancreatic cancer. The data suggests an elevated risk of the disease when consuming processed meats.
For every 50 grams a person adds of processed meat to their diet, the risk of pancreatic cancer increased by 19 per cent, according to the study.
That serving size can roughly be approximated to a few slices of ham or salami, one hot dog, or two strips of bacon.
The culprits are preservatives found in some processed meat products, which can include nitrites and possibly N-nitroso compounds - potent carcinogens that can induce pancreatic cancer in animals.
"This is assuming that you're consuming this much on a daily basis, and for some people that's not too unusual," said CBC's medical specialist Dr. Karl Kabasele. (see video here)
"It's statistically significant, but we have to stress that this is sort of a mathematical approximation," he continued.
"As a meta-analysis of observational studies," according to the authors, "we cannot rule out that individual studies may have failed to control for potential confounders, which may introduce bias in an unpredictable direction."
How much processed meat do you eat on a regular basis? Has this study made you change your own eating habits? Let us know in the comments section below.
(This poll is not scientific. It is based on readers' responses.)
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