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High Consumption of Grilled Meat Linked with Increased Risk of All-Cause Mortality for Breast Cancer Survivors

By jeremyc | January 7, 2017

Earlier studies have suggested a link between high intake of barbecued, smoked or grilled meat and a greater risk of developing breast cancer. A recent study, however, has found that breast cancer survivors who consume a lot of grilled meat might also have an increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Breast cancer is ranked as the second most common cancer in the women in the U.S. It is estimated that more than 250,000 new breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2017 in the country. Moreover, over 40,000 women will die because of breast cancer this year.

Troubling as these figures are, the incidence rate of breast cancer and the number of deaths from it are becoming less. This is because of two reasons: early detection of breast cancer and more effective treatments. Data suggests that over 2.8 million survivors of breast cancer are living in the U.S. at present.

Earlier studies have suggested a link between high intake of grilled meat and increased risk of breast cancer and certain other cancers. The reason for this is that when meat is cooked this way, the production of two chemicals, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increase. Both of them cause changes to the DNA and in turn increase the risk of cancer.

For this study, the researchers set out to find out how consumption of meat cooked at very high temperature affect the all-cause mortality risk of breast cancer survivors.

Women who consumed a lot of grilled, smoked or barbecued meat before the diagnoses of breast cancer carried a 23 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality than women who had a low intake of these meats.

Moreover, women who consumed a lot of grilled, smoked or barbecued meat before or after the diagnoses of breast cancer showed a 31 percent greater risk of all-cause mortality than women who had a low intake of these meats.

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