Meat Increases Death Rate in Breast Cancer Survivors

Researchers find that mortality rate spikes for breast cancer survivors who consume barbecued meat.

A recent study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that breast cancer survivors who consumed barbecued, grilled, or smoked meat had a higher rate of death. While previous studies linked the consumption of meat to increased risk for developing breast cancer, this new research found that women who survived the disease and consumed meats cooked at high temperatures post-diagnosis had a 23 percent higher cancer-specific mortality rate. Of the 1,508 participants surveyed, women who consumed the most smoked pork, lamb, and beef post-diagnosis were found to have a 17 percent increased all-mortality rate than those who consumed the least. As for participants who consumed a high amount of these meats throughout their lifetimes—both pre- and post-diagnosis—researchers found all-cause mortality rate to increase to 31 percent. The World Health Organization classified processed meat as a carcinogen last year, and several recent scientific studies have linked the consumption of meat to certain cancers in both men and women.

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