A recent study published in the journal Cancer Causes & Control suggests there is a link between eating processed meat and breast cancer risk among Hispanic women. Study researchers combined harmonized data from two population-based case-control studies that included 1,777 cases involving 2,218 Hispanic subjects, as well as 1,982 cases involving 2,218 non-Hispanic white (NHW) women.
Among Hispanics, they observed an association between breast cancer risk and processed meat intake. For Latinas in particular, there was an association between consuming white meat and breast cancer risk (driven by poultry). Hispanic females who consumed approximately 20 grams of processed meat (i.e. a bacon strip) per day had a 42 % higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to Hispanic women who ate no or very little processed meats.
Processed meats and poultry weren’t associated with breast cancer risk among NHW women and neither red meat nor fish were associated with breast risk in either ethnic groups. Among NHW subjects, researchers saw an association between tuna intake and risk of breast cancer.
Keep in mind that the evidence is limited and considered suggestive.
Meat-Eating Trends in the U.S.
Another study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that overall meat consumption has continued to rise across the U.S. and the developed world. There’s a shift toward higher fowl consumption, but red meat represents a large proportion of meat consumed in the U.S (a whopping 58%).
Twenty-two percent of the meat eaten in the U.S. is processed, although the type and quantities of meat eaten differs by age, race, gender and education.
Just last fall, the World Health Organization declared a link between processed meat and colorectal cancer.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Kim, A.E., et al., “Red meat, poultry, and fish intake and breast cancer risk among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic white women: The Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study,” Cancer Causes Control, 2016 Feb 22; [Epub ahead of print].
Daniel, C. R., “Trends in meat consumption in the United States,” Public Health Nutrition, 2011;14(4): 575–583; doi: 10.1017/S1368980010002077.