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Report suggests a link between processed meat and pancreatic cancer

13 January 2012

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have issued a report in the British Journal of Cancer concerning the consumption of processed meat in relation to pancreatic cancer.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have issued a report in the British Journal of Cancer concerning the consumption of processed meat in relation to pancreatic cancer.

The study looked at data from a number of research papers over the last 20 years and found a statistically significant link between the two. The report concludes that eating an extra portion (50g) of processed meat a day increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19%, but no overall link between pancreatic cancer and red meat was found.

Whilst molecules called nitrites - which are used to preserve processed meats - have been found to be associated with pancreatic cancer by previous studies, it’s important to note that the majority of the findings in this report were not corrected for known pancreatic cancer risk categories, such as diabetes and weight. Indeed, the the World Cancer Research Fund suggested to the BBC that the link may be down to obesity.

The report recommends that more research is needed. 

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