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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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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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Old 11-14-2006, 02:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kitchenelf
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.
I have seen this comment in several other related threads. Some folks claim they simply can not afford to purchase grass fed beef, groceries from Whole Foods, or organic food stuffs. From what I have read from these same folks' other posts, they are not being honest with themselves. It clearly is a matter of priority, not a matter of economics. If they can purchase alcohol, wine, liquor, and take trips, buy kitchen toys; then the truth is that they do not have enough money to do all things they want to do. When they prioritize, and the trip to Whole Foods does not take place, then they claim they can not afford to buy their groceries there.

I, for one, place a very high priority on obtaining natural, unadulterated, whole foods. One needs to be creative in this practice. A ten pound bag of fresh potatoes costs much less than frozen potatoes, and can yield many more meals.

My medical expenses over the past 20 years have been $00.00, and I am rarely sick. I think that is no concindence.
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:45 PM   #12
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I heard this back many years ago. I wish all of you had the opportunity I had growing up to have fresh, grass fed beef!!!! No Hormones, no additives and aged the right way. As has been said, all things in moderation!! Shoot, any and everything can kill you; especially now days. Just use commonsense.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:02 PM   #13
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I love driving down the road and seeing the cattle out grazing in the fields - the goats and sheep are all out there eating what they are supposed to eat. Then we drive by a dairy and there are the cows standing in muck and eating sileage (the smell of which just gags me). Why????? Why can't the cows eat proper food for cows???? Bob and I keep trying to find one of these ranchers out here that will sell to us. I see a huge goat herd 2 miles from us - but they don't milk them, we're unsure as to what they do do with them. But I'd sure like a few gallons of goats milk and some rennet.

We spend more of our budget on food than the average couple. But we eat well. We used to shop at a particular discount grocery store - their produce looked lovely, and they had an incredible variety - but it never lasted more than a day or two before it would begin to rot. It wasn't worth the pennies that were saved. But people flock there because it's so cheap.
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
But I'd sure like a few gallons of goats milk and some rennet.
I've got the rennet, Sharon, you get the milk! We'll be in business!!!!!
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:15 PM   #15
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Oh yes!!!! Nothing better than chevre made at home, wrapped in herbs, melted onto a . . . . anything. All I seem to be able to find is the stuff in the grocery stores. I want the fresh stuff - right out of the goat!
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Harborwitch
I love driving down the road and seeing the cattle out grazing in the fields - the goats and sheep are all out there eating what they are supposed to eat. Then we drive by a dairy and there are the cows standing in muck and eating sileage (the smell of which just gags me). Why????? Why can't the cows eat proper food for cows????
My guess would be this; The beef cow probably does not have much on their agenda any given day, munch grass a bit, chew cud a bit, no where to go but the pasture. But the dairy cow, now that is a working animal. She probably needs to be milked twice a day. And the farmer person really does not want to be running around the pasture trying to collect the milkers. Thus, you are likely to see the milkers in a corral, waiting to be milked. These corrals will be muddy and smelly. But it saves time for the person doing the milking if the milkers are ready and waiting for the chore. Silage is excellent food for any ruminant. Hopefully they also have access to pasture when not waiting for the milking routine.
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:16 PM   #17
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I have written and deleted this post several times. I find myself unwilling to upset, even though I myself am upset.

When someone says they can't afford something, please accept their word for it. You have no way of knowing their situation and to imply their priorities are not straight is not nice. Everyone is entitled to set their own priorities.



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Old 11-14-2006, 05:24 PM   #18
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I have to agree with Alix, as I usually do. Fine principles are all well and good, and more power to those who can walk that narrow line of rectitude.

I'll stop now before the real Scorpio stinger comes out,
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:13 PM   #19
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I am going to take a slightly different approach to this, the one I did when I first read about the paper.

This is one study, others have not shown any relationship between the ingestion of red meat and breast cancer. The article quoted above admits that.

It conclusions may be true, but then again I remember a study in a very prestigious medical journal some 20 years ago that absolutely tied an increased risk of pancreatic cancer to coffee intake. People started shunning coffee. The data have since been dismissed, by the way. I read something a while back stating that coffee drinking can actually be protective against some disorder (I forget which one, such articles are very common and most do not survive the light of continued medical scrutiny for very long, so I rarely pay much heed).

If folks want to limit their intake of red meats, great.

If they want to purchase meat from animals raised organically, and on no drugs, all the more power to them.

My only point is that I do not believe folks should take this one study as gospel; this article is hot off the presses and the medical community has not yet had time to digest and comment.

It may reflect a truth, but it may not. Time will tell.

In the meanwhile, modify your diet, or do not, as you feel comfortable.

Eited for grammar, I hate when I have to do that. Sorry.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot
My only point is that I do not believe folks should take this one study as gospel; this article is hot off the presses and the medical community has not yet had time to digest and comment.

It may reflect a truth, but it may not. Time will tell.
Hear hear auntdot. And I reiterate my earlier post about the amounts of red meat consumed daily. I don't know many women (or men either) who routinely consume 1.5 servings of red meat DAILY for an extended period of time.

I wish I could remember who said "everything in moderation, including moderation".
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