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Old 11-14-2006, 09:34 AM   #1
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Red meat link to breast cancers - BBC

This article just appeared in BBC News today:

Eating large amounts of red meat may double young women's breast cancer risk, a study suggests.
US researchers writing in Archives of Internal Medicine looked at over 90,000 pre-menopausal women.
Having one-and-a-half servings of red meat per day almost doubled the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer compared to three or fewer per week.
UK cancer experts said animals in the UK were not given growth hormones which are used for US animals.

The biggest risk factors for breast cancer remain gender and increasing age
Maria Leadbeater, Breast Cancer Care
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston studied women who were part of the Nurses' Health Study II from 1989 to 2003.
The women filled out questionnaires in 1991, 1995 and 1999, on which they recorded how often they regularly consumed more than 130 different foods and beverages.
A portion of meat was defined as beef, pork or lamb as a main dish, in a sandwich or eating a hamburger, bacon, hot-dogs or other processed meat as part of a meal.
Every two years, they reported whether or not they had developed breast cancer. Cases were confirmed through hospital records and pathology reports. The researchers also looked at the whether the women's tumours were fuelled by the hormones oestrogen or progesterone.

By the end of the study, 1,021 women had developed breast cancer.
There were 512 cases of cancers which were oestrogen and progesterone-receptor positive, 167 that were negative, 110 with mixed status and 232 with unknown status.

Public health implications
When the researchers looked at meat intake and cancer risk, it was found that women who ate more than one-and-a-half servings of red meat per day had almost double the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer compared with those who ate three or fewer servings per week.
Writing in Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers led by Dr Eunyoung Cho, said: "Several biological mechanisms may explain the positive association between red meat intake and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer risk.

They say cooked and processed red meats have been shown to contain cancer-causing chemicals such as heterocyclic amines which are created during the cooking of red meat.
A second potential link is the growth hormones which are given to cattle in the US, although not in Europe.
The researchers also say red meat is a source of heme iron, which previous research has shown fuels the growth of oestrogen-induced tumours.
Dr Cho's team added: "Given that most of the risk factors for breast cancer are not easily modifiable, these findings have potential public health implications in preventing breast cancer and should be evaluated further."

'Complex causes'
Dr Sarah Rawlings, of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity, said: "Very little is known about diet and breast cancer risk because we eat a variety of foods and separating out the effect of an individual food is difficult."
She added: "Previous studies looking at red meat and breast cancer have been inconclusive.
"This study relied on women accurately recalling their diet over the past year and was carried out in the US where animals receive growth hormones not permitted in the EU.
And Maria Leadbeater, nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, added: "To date we are still a long way off fully determining the many and complex root causes of this disease and it is an area for further research.
"Further studies will need to be done to fully establish the exact nature of any link between a diet high in red meat and breast cancer.
"The benefits of eating a healthy and varied diet are well established and the biggest risk factors for breast cancer remain gender and increasing age."

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Old 11-14-2006, 10:45 AM   #2
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Yes, of course we have this on our news today. The risk with red meat was increased with processed red meats...burgers/sausages ... I'm not clear whether this relates to additives in bought products or just the act of mincing the meat though.....I mean, how could mincing it do that?
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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And why is anyone surprised? Feed-lot meat is just loaded with steroids, hormones, antibiotics and all manner of "stuff" that doesn't do anything but cause illness, especially cancer!

To me the answer is not stopping eating meat, but demanding that it be raised responsibly, without all that apcray that's killing folks!

True enough, most Americans need to eat waaaaaaaay less red meat, but if it was naturally raised, grass fed/grain finished, it would be GOOD for us!

just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Lulu, more about Heterocyclic Amines in cooked meats from the National Cancer Institute:

Quote:
Research has shown that cooking certain meats at high temperatures creates chemicals that are not present in uncooked meats. A few of these chemicals may increase cancer risk. For example, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl, and fish. HCAs form when amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and creatine (a chemical found in muscles) react at high cooking temperatures. Researchers have identified 17 different HCAs resulting from the cooking of muscle meats that may pose human cancer risk.
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
True enough, most Americans need to eat waaaaaaaay less red meat, but if it was naturally raised, grass fed/grain finished.
I wish I could afford the naturallly raised, grass fed/grain fed beef.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:10 PM   #6
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Again, it seems to me that everything in moderation is fine. The key phrase here appears to be:
Quote:
Having one-and-a-half servings of red meat per day almost doubled the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer compared to three or fewer per week.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Baked
I wish I could afford the naturallly raised, grass fed/grain fed beef.
Read that again, Jan... I think you can't afford NOT to! For me the alternative is Not eating beef at all. I'd rather have the "good stuff" and have it less often.
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Old 11-14-2006, 01:54 PM   #8
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ChefJune, you are so LUCKY to have the kind of money it takes to buy that WONDERFUL beef. Here, not only is it not available, but it would cost me a weeks wages just to get enough to feed us. The only REAL beef I get are pictures of Alberta Beef Alix sends me - of course, that's just a whole different kind of beef!

I will eat more chicken and seafood and oh yes, pulled pork, our state food to fill our bellies.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:20 PM   #9
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Having one-and-a-half servings of red meat per day almost doubled the risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer compared to three or fewer per week.
Alix is correct - but defining that "serving" becomes an issue.

As a survivor with hormone receptor-positive cancer there are a lot of changes in diet and lifestyle to make. Most of us take medications to block estrogen production. My oncologist suggested no soy supplements - but eating small amounts is okay. Alcohol - he suggests no more than 2 drinks a day. Bob and I are considering making the change from grocery store meat and poultry unless it's hormone free, organic, etc. etc. Same thing with milk and dairy. We buy most of our seafood frozen, from the Schwans truck. It's flash frozen on the boat where the fish were caught - salmon in Alaska for example. Yes it's more expensive - but let's see:
Arimidex (estrogen blocker) 35.00 per mo. w/insurance $285. without ins.
Effexor (to stop the hot flashes caused by Arimidex. 35.00 per mo.
Not counting the 3 surgeries, stereo-tactic biopsy, and all the other tests JUST the radiation treatments alone would have been 85,000 if I hadn't had insurance.

The cost of prevention is cheap. (Although I do have to laugh at a friend who is also a survivor - she has switched to all organic everything - even her cigarettes are made from organic tobacco! I'm thinking every advantage I give myself is a good thing.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Alix is correct - but defining that "serving" becomes an issue.
That's for sure! In weight watchers, a "serving" is the size of a deck of cards. At a steak house, a "serving" is probably equivalent to 12 of those decks of cards!

On the plus side, for those sustainably raised meats, they are so flavorful that you really don't need much to be satisfied.

We all just need to learn to eat less of the animal protein we've been conditioned to crave.

KitchenElf... I don't make a lot of money, and I don't have anyone else but me making any at my house. I also don't eat a lot of red meat. I do pay a lot for that which I eat, but it all evens out in the end. Whole wheat pasta with a veggie sauce is also very tasty, satisfying, healthful and costs pennies.
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