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Want some cancer with that burger? Eating meat linked to bladder cancer

Thursday, April 29, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: meat, bladder cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) No one wants cancer served up with their steak or hamburger. But that's just what you may be getting. As NaturalNews has previously reported, numerous studies have linked meat consumption with cancer (http://www.naturalnews.com/024966_inflammati...). Now comes evidence from scientists at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center that eating meat frequently, especially meat that is well done or cooked at high temperatures, significantly raises the risk of developing bladder cancer.

These research cancer findings, recently announced at the American Association for Cancer Research's 101st Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., indicate that heterocyclic amines (HCAs), substances formed when meat (including beef, pork, poultry and fish) is cooked at high temperatures, may be what links meat to malignancies. Earlier research found strong evidence that 17 types of HCAs contribute to cancer.

"It's well known that meat cooked at high temperatures generates HCAs that can cause cancer," study presenter Jie Lin, Ph.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology, said in a statement to the media. "We wanted to find out if meat consumption increases the risk of developing bladder cancer and how genetic differences may play a part."

The M.D. Anderson researchers studied 884 patients with bladder cancer and 878 people who were cancer-free. The research subjects were matched by age, gender and ethnicity and followed for about 12 years. Using a standardized questionnaire designed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the scientists documented each participant's dietary habits. Those who ate the most red meat had about one and a half times the risk of developing bladder cancer than the research subjects who ate little or no red meat.

Beef steaks, pork chops and bacon raised bladder cancer risk the most. People who consumed a lot of well-done meat were at about twice the risk to develop bladder cancer as those who preferred rare meat. Even chicken and fish significantly upped the chances of getting cancer -- but only if they were fried. The M.D. Anderson researchers also found that people with the highest estimated intake of three specific types of HCAs were more than two and a half times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those with a low intake of HCAs.

In addition, the researchers analyzed study participants' DNA to see if there were genetic variations that would make some people particularly more likely to develop cancer if they ate red meat. The results showed that people with seven or more specific genotypes who consumed a diet full of red meat had five times the risk of bladder cancer.

"This research reinforces the relationship between diet and cancer," lead author Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology, said in the media statement. "These results strongly support what we suspected: people, who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer. This effect is compounded if they carry high unfavorable genotypes in the HCA-metabolism pathway."

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