Sunday, January 15, 2012

A sausage a day could lead to cancer: Pancreatic cancer warning over processed meat

This appears to be a meta-analysis but there is such a lot of garbage on this subject that all I can do is to repeat the old computer maxim: GIGO (Garbage in; garbage out)

Eating one sausage a day or two rashers of bacon raises the risk of pancreatic cancer by a fifth, according to research. Scientists have found that even relatively small amounts of processed meat increase the chance of developing this deadly illness.

Pancreatic cancer is called ‘the silent killer’ because it often does not produce symptoms in early stages. Even when it does, the symptoms are often vague – such as back pain, loss of appetite and weight loss. By the time the disease is diagnosed it is often too late and, because of this, it has one of the worst survival rates of all cancers and only 3 per cent of patients live beyond five years.

Little is known about its causes other than that smoking, excess alcohol and being overweight all seem to contribute.

Now scientists in Sweden have found that eating just 50g of processed meat a day raises the likelihood by 19 per cent. This is equivalent to a few slices of ham or salami, a hot dog or sausage or two slices of bacon. Eating 100g a day – a small burger – increases the risk by 38 per cent while 150g a day raises it by 57 per cent.

Ordinary red meat such as joints or steaks increases a man’s chance of getting the cancer, but not a woman’s.

But the risk posed by eating meat was substantially lower than for smoking, which was found to increase the likelihood of pancreatic cancer by 74 per cent.

The research, published in the British Journal of Cancer, analysed the results of 11 other studies involving 6,000 patients with pancreatic cancer. There is already widespread evidence that red and processed meat may trigger bowel cancer.

For this reason the Government last year published guidelines advising the public to limit their consumption to 500g of red and processed meat a week.

Professor Susanna Larsson, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said: ‘Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. ‘So it’s important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease.’

Just over 8,000 Britons are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.


Reading any news media will make you live longer?

Boring! Yet another discovery that middle class people have better health

People who keep up-to-date with current affairs are more health-conscious and will live longer, say scientists. A study found those who were most exposed to newspaper, television and the internet had healthier diets than those who were less well informed.

It is now hoped that the findings will help experts to better understand the contribution of mass media in increasing awareness about health.

During the study of more than 1,000 adults, researchers assessed the correlation between exposure to information and eating habits.

They found those most exposed to mass media consumed a healthier diet, with greater quantities of fruit and fresh fish, which reduced the risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Lead researcher Dr Americo Bonanni, from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, Italy, said: 'We focused on eating habits, mainly on Mediterranean diet.

'Results have shown that people most exposed to information delivered by any mass media source, reported higher adherence to the Mediterranean -like eating patterns.

'The latter are considered as the most effective eating model for reducing the risk of chronic and neurodegenerative diseases.'

Past research has often suggested that mass media can have a negative impact on health. For instance television viewing has been linked to physical inactivity and snacking which are major risk factors for obesity and heart disease.

But the latest findings suggest that television programmes, addressing health issues, can also make people more health-conscious.

The participants completed a specific questionnaire on mass media usage, from TV viewing to newspaper and magazine reading and surfing the Internet, which was then analysed alongside medical, lifestyle and dietary data.

More here

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