Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2013 Contents B28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 4, 2013
People who report eating the most red and processed
meat before being diagnosed with colon cancer are
more likely to die during the next eight years, according
to a new study.
"It s another important reason to follow the guidelines
to limit the intake of red and processed meat," said Mar-
jorie McCullough, the study s lead author from the
American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
While the new study can t prove eating red or processed
meats---such as beef, hot dogs and sausages---causes
colon cancer deaths, previous studies have found that
eating the meats is tied to an increased risk of developing
There s less evidence,
however, on how people s
diets after colon cancer
diagnoses affect their
chances of survival.
The US National Insti-
tutes of Health estimates
that about 143,000 Amer-
icans will be diagnosed with
colon and rectal cancers in
2013, and about 51,000 peo-
ple will die from them.
For the new research,
McCullough and her col-
leagues used data from a
different study on 184,000
Americans who didn t have
cancer between 1992 and
1993, and who were peri-
odically asked about what they ate.
After excluding people, who had---among other things---
multiple types of cancer, unverified diagnoses and missing
information, the researchers had data on 2,315 men and
women who were diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer
between the start of the study and June 30, 2009.
Overall, 966 of them died between the start of the
study and December 31, 2010.
The researchers found no link between how much red
or processed meat a person ate after their diagnosis and
their risk of death, but the amount of meat a person ate
before their diagnosis was tied with their risk of dying
during the study.
About 43 per cent of the 580 people who ate about
ten servings of red or processed meat per week at the
start of the study died during the follow up period. That
compared to about 37 per cent of the 576 people who
ate about two servings per week.
The researchers also found that people who consistently
ate more red or processed meat before and after their
colon cancer diagnosis were more likely to die from that
cancer during the study, compared to those who at the
least before and after diagnosis.
Dr Jeffrey Meyerhardt, who wrote an editorial accom-
panying the new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,
said it s possible that the link between red and processed
meats and colon cancer comes from cancer-causing
compounds found in cooked meat or preservatives.
"The primary message is a confirmation that increased
intake of red or processed meat can have detrimental
effects on the development of colon cancer, the type of
cancer and other health effects of patients in the long
term," Meyerhardt, a gastrointestinal oncologist at the
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said.
McCullough said about three or four servings of red
or processed meats per week is a good target for peo-
"We re not saying people need to be vegetarians. It s
really just limiting intake and making it more the exception
than the rule," she said. Dr Elisa Bandera, associate pro-
fessor of epidemiology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of
New Jersey in New Brunswick, said in an email to Reuters
Health that maintaining a healthy weight, healthy diet
and regular exercise likely has benefits for cancer pre-
vention and survival.
But she cautioned that these are only findings from
"We need more studies evaluating
the impact of meat and other dietary
factors on cancer survival before any
recommendations can be made to can-
cer survivors," wrote Bandera, who was
not involved with the new study.
Red meat tied to worse
colon cancer outcomes
While the new
study can't prove
eating red or
beef, hot dogs
have found that
eating the meats
is tied to an
increased risk of
People are being urged to reduced their
consumption of processed meat like hot
dog sausages to cut the risk of cancer.
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
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