Health Team

Love red meat? Doctor warns of cancer risk

Posted June 13, 2011

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer killer in the United States, and a new study – the most comprehensive ever – finds that people’s diets could be linked to the disease.

Daniel Foster was 45 years old when he received a terrifying diagnosis.

“I was told I had rectal cancer,” he said.

A new report shows that, when it comes to colorectal cancer, a bad diet can be the enemy, specifically eating red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb.

“I always had bad eating habits. I weighed 240 pounds,” Foster said.

Dr. Richard Whelan, chief of the colorectal surgery division at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, says people who eat 7 ounces of red meat per day increase their risk of colorectal cancer by 34 percent, compared with people who do not eat any red meat.

Study connects meat consumption with cancer Study connects meat consumption with cancer

According to the new guidelines, just 18 ounces of red meat is enough for a whole week. Some people get that and more in just one meal.

The guidelines state that processed meats, such as bacon and cold cuts, should be avoided all together.

The American Cancer Research Institute study also says there is convincing evidence that eating fiber-rich foods - such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans – will significantly lower people’s chances of colorectal caner.

Limiting alcohol and getting regular exercise also make a difference.

“I added more fiber to my diet. I do walking, I go bicycle riding, I love to go fishing, and those are all the good things,” Foster said.

After treatment, surgery and lifestyle changes, Foster has been cancer-free for 15 years.

Nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year. Researchers say 45 percent of those cases are preventable.


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  • jwms32 Jun 15, 2011

    Servent....I absolutely agree!! When will the government and doctors realize...ok ADMIT it's the steriods and chemicals used in growing the animals and the pesticide chemicals that are making us sick!! Not the food itself!!! But that just helps ensure job security, doesn't it ?!!!!

  • snowl Jun 14, 2011

    I don't think I could give up bacon all together, but....

    Our family has discussed this issue for decades because my uncle was a butcher who owned his own shop. My Mom says he used to bring home the best cuts of red meat for almost every meal....and you guessed it, he died of cancer later in his life. His daughter also died of cancer at 45 years old. On the other hand, his wife lived to be 92 years old. I'm not sure if we will ever know why some get cancer and others do not.

  • nctorwart Jun 14, 2011

    Everything gives you cancer.

  • patrick85ed Jun 14, 2011

    and Crossing the road increases one chances of gitting hit by a vehicle.

  • HowManyOunces Jun 14, 2011

    "Nothing wrong with meat, it's how they are raised that's the problem"

    Actually, while a little red meat is not harmful, a lot can cause problems for your colon. The problem is how your body must work to digest the meat. Humans don't need as much meat as Americans eat. We need about twice as many fruits and vegies as the average American consumes. Fiber is your best friend in avoiding colon problems.

  • Servent Jun 14, 2011

    Nothing wrong with meat, it's how they are raised that's the problem

  • THE ETERNAL Jun 14, 2011

    Servent, very will stated. A good grass-fed burger or steak-antibiotic and hormone free- is good for you, once in a while with a little fat. Americans don't get enough good animal fat.

  • Servent Jun 14, 2011

    It's the new that's killing us, there is nothing an I say nothing new about diet. Quit been picky eaters, no more fast food, learn to cook, eat all the differant vegies and fruits, everyday, not once and awhile. We need to fight the food industry, no more hybrids, cancer and other problems come from not doing this, wake UP, people

  • MudLife Jun 13, 2011

    Seems everything is causing cancer....Cell phones, tanning beds, now food What else is possibly left?