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ALERT: Breast Cancer Survivors Should Avoid Grilled Meat as Much as Possible, Here's Why

Jan 06, 2017 11:00 AM EST

A new study revealed that breast cancer survivors consuming high amounts of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat have higher mortality risk than those who have low intake of such meats.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed a link between higher consumption of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat and higher mortality risk among breast cancer survivors.

According to a press release, meats cooked in high temperature are a highly prevalent source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other carcinogenic chemicals. Moreover, these meats have been long associated with breast cancer incidence. For this current study, the researchers investigated whether the amount of meat intake is related to the mortality risk of breast cancer survivors.

For the study, the researchers interviewed 1508 women with breast cancer from Long Island. The researchers asked the participants about their intake of four types of grilled, barbecue and smoked meat, including fish, lamb, pork and beef. The participants were requested to report their meat consumption in each decade of their life. Additionally, the researchers asked the participants to specify the seasons in which the meats were most frequently consumed.

The researchers identified 597 deaths among the 1508 participants after a median duration of follow-up of 17.6 years. Out of which, 237 or 39.7 percent of the participants were related to breast cancer. Prior to breast cancer diagnosis, high intake of grilled, barbecued, and smoke meat was associated with a 23 percent increase risk of death from all causes.

Furthermore, women who tend to consume high amount grilled, barbecued and smoked meat before and after their diagnosis have 31 percent increased hazard of all mortality. On the other hand, lifetime consumption of grilled, barbecued and smoked meat and pre-diagnosis annual intake of meats were not associated with mortality.

Overall, smoked beef/lamb/pork intake was associated with a 17 percent increased risk of mortality from all causes and a 23 percent increased risk of breast cancer-related death.

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