A recent study from the University of Glasgow has found that post-menopausal women who eat just 9g of processed meats a week could be at far higher risk of breast cancer than women who don’t.
The study, which surveyed 260,000 women, found that women in their mid-life who ate less than 9g of processed meat, but still ate some red meat, were still at a higher risk of getting the cancer than those had no processed meats in their diet.
9 grams is equivalent to just two sausages, or three rashers of bacon, a week. And according to the study, women who eat this amount a week are a fifth more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who don’t.
The World Health Organisation actually already classes certain fermented, cured and salted meats as a leading cause of bowel cancer – suggesting there’s a clear link between unhealthy meats causing the disease.
The findings for this particular study were published in the European Journal of Cancer. And a professor who helped to conduct the study stated that the findings help further the idea that processed meat has an adverse effect on post-menopausal women.
Co-author Naveed Sattar, said, “In addition to the previously known effects of processed meat on other kinds of cancer, this adds further evidence that it may have a deleterious effect on breast cancer, particularly in post-menopausal women.
“If you take it at face value and say there’s an association, then it means that if people were to eat less processed meat they might well reduce their risk of breast cancer.”
However, the research did not find that a similar thing happened in young women, suggesting that processed meat has no direct link to cancer for this age group.
And fortunately, this study appears to suggest no connection between breast cancer and unprocessed red meats, including steak, lamb, veal or beef.