Link Between Eating Meat and Cancer Risk Varies by Race

Scientists find link between meat and breast cancer depends on race


While studies have indicated that eating a lot of red meat can have a negative effect on a person’s health—including increasing risk of death from cancer—and the American Cancer Society recommends eating red meat only two or three times a week, new research shows that the effect of meat consumption on cancer risks actually varies depending on a person's race.

According to HealthDay, a new study found from the Cancer Institute of New Jersey found meat consumption was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in white women, but the scientists found no such correlation between meat consumption and breast cancer risk in black women.

"Most breast cancer studies have been conducted in [white] women," said researcher Elisa Bandera in a press release. "Our study provides new information on the role consumption of animal foods play on breast cancer development in women of European and African ancestry."

The study actually suggests that eating relatively large amounts of red meat may even be associated with a reduced risk of certain kinds of tumor in black women. But the scientists say more research is necessary before the findings can be considered conclusive.

“This research supports encouraging Caucasian women to limit their intake of both red meat and poultry in order to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” wrote researcher Urmila Chandran. “Being that this study may be one of the first to examine this association in African-American women, results from this group are not conclusive, and more investigation is needed to replicate these findings.”
 


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