Conditions

Does Eating Red Meat Lead To Increased Breast Cancer Risk?

In January, the U.S. recorded more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer. The number is expected to increase in 2019 with more than 268,000 additional cases of the invasive type of the disease, according to Breastcancer.org.

Men are also at risk of breast cancer, with 2,670 new patients expected in 2019. Since the number of affected Americans continue to reach thousands every year, researchers are looking for ways to help reduce the risk of having the disease. 

A new study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggested that reducing consumption of red meat and adding more white meat may help avoid breast cancer. Red meat has been linked to invasive breast cancer. 

Researchers said high consumption of such meat could increase the risk of having the disease to 23 percent. Meanwhile, the people with diets high in white meat appeared 15 percent less likely to develop cancer.

The findings come from the analysis of the health and diet of 42,012 women. Researchers monitored each participant for an average of seven and a half years. 

The team also found that the breast cancer risk increased in women who consumed more red meat after menopause, the New York Times reported Monday.

“Here we show that eating white meat decreases your risk, and eating red meat increases it, by a small amount,” Dale Sandler, senior study author and an epidemiologist with the National Institutes of Health, said. “If women reduced their consumption of red meat, it would reduce their risk for cancer.”

Meat Consumption In The US

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released data indicating meat consumption of each person in the country increased over the past years. In 2013, the U.S. ranked beside Australia as the countries with the highest annual meat consumption.

However, the U.S. reduced its consumption of red meat from beef and pork then increased poultry in 2018. But in the same year, the country saw its total meat consumption close to the highest record in decades, the BBC reported in February

Red Meat Study suggests reducing consumption of red meat could help reduce risk of having breast cancer. Pixabay

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