Study Says Processed Meat Can Increase the Risk of Colon Cancer

By - Updated May 7, 2016

Cancer is a type of disease where malignant cells uncontrollably multiple at a fast rate on specific parts of our body and can spread into surrounding tissues. These cells can replace normal cells that are needed in normal functioning of our body resulting to impairment of the targeted part or organ of the body. Cells live and die inside our body after they have served their purpose. But when damaged cells or cells that should die survive, a new cell lives without a certain purpose. These extra cells can divide and grow into tissues and finally a mass or tumor when not detected.

In anatomy, the colon is the longest part of the large intestines. The colon removes water, salt and some nutrients to form stool. It contains billions of bacteria essential for a healthy balance of our body. When malignant tumors develop on the lining of the large intestines, the diagnosis is colon cancer. Colon cancer is not the same with rectal cancer but they often go together and is called colorectal cancer. Rectal cancer happens on the rectum, few inches away from the colon.

What Causes Colon Cancer?

Types of Colon Polyps

Precancerous growth in the colon often turns into colon cancer. These lumps are called “polyps” and can be removed through surgery. Early detection of polyps can play a great factor in saving your own life. There are different types of Colon Polyps. Experts recommend persons above 50 years old to have routine colon cancer check-ups especially if they are at high risk of getting the disease.

Family history plays a great role in acquiring different types of cancer. If your mother died from breast cancer, you as her son can inherit mutated genes and doesn’t limit you to getting breast cancer only. It is possible that you can have other types of cancer.

More importantly, your lifestyle is the greatest factor of all. If you are smoking, drinking alcohol, abusing drugs, eating unhealthy foods with less fiber, all of it puts you into greater risk of getting cancer.

World Health Organization: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Just recently, World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO IARC) announced that eating red meat can be a threat to human health by probably causing cancer. The agency classified red meats as any mammalian muscle meat. The list includes beef, veal, pork and meat from lamb, mutton, horse, and goat. The findings were based on evidences that are limited as announced on the press release dated October 26, 2015. The results were only associated to colorectal cancer however pancreatic and prostate cancers were also linked.

Meanwhile, according to the evidences, WHO stated that processed meat such as hotdogs, corned beef, ham, biltong or beef jerky, and sausages as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces contain carcinogens which cause cancer. Any meat that has been cured, fermented, smoked or any procedures undergone to enhance its flavors as well as prolong its expiration is called “processed”.

While processed meat has already been incorporated mostly in our daily lives, experts say that a 50 gram of meat (processed) that we consumed per day do increase our risk by 18% of getting colorectal cancer. This 50 gram portion is only a small amount which is as small as 2 slices of bacon, for sure meat lovers are already weeping over this fact.

Processed meat now levels the carcinogenic effect smoking and drinking alcohol has. On the brighter side, Dr. Kurt Straif said that developing colorectal cancer by consumption of processed meat remains small but the chance of getting it increases as to how frequent and how many grams do we eat every day. The aim of the study is to raise public health awareness especially a lot of people include them in their diet.

Dr. Wild finally said there no need to eliminate red meat in the diet, but they recommend limiting intake of these meats. He also said that these meats have dietary value that is why the study will benefit the governments and other international agencies to outweigh their advantages and disadvantages to be able to give the best nutritional recommendations if possible.

Conclusion

On the other side of the story, meat lovers, vegetarians as well as industries that process meat expressed their comments about the recent findings. The social media has been stirred by the results, leaving the vegetarians rejoicing. Does this mean no ham for Christmas?

While most of the experts agreed to what WHO announced, most of them also imposed that moderation in everything is the key to keeping healthy. Eating a balanced diet with enough protein, fats, and carbohydrates in it will keep you going. Also, keeping an active life and maintaining a less stressful environment will keep everything sound.

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Contributor : Janice McAllister (Colon Health Magazine)

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