Published last week in the British Journal of Cancer, the Uruguayan study shows that eating too much processed meat is “positively associated” with colon, rectum, stomach, oesophagus and lung cancers.
Researchers at the University of the Republic in Montevideo analysed data from 6,060 men and women between 1996 and 2004, 3,528 with cancer – of the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, lung, larynx, female breast, prostate, urinary bladder, and kidney (renal cell carcinoma only) – and a control group of 2,532.
All the cancers (with the exception of renal cell carcinoma) were “significantly associated with elevated risks for processed meat consumption”.
The study indicates that the processed meats most “strongly associated with risk of several cancer sites” were mortadella, salami, hot dog, ham and salted meat.
“It could be concluded that processed meat intake could be a powerful multi-organ carcinogen,” the researchers said.