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Eating processed meat linked to pancreatic cancer

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A study by the British Journal of Cancer has found eating processed meats such as bacon or sausage may increase a person’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

The study, which pooled together 11 other studies involving 6,643 people with pancreatic cancer, suggests eating two strips of bacon a day, one hot dog, or a few slices of sausage or salami, increases pancreatic cancer risk by 19 per cent.

The reason is that most processed meats (but not all) contain nitrites and possibly N-nitroso compounds which can induce pancreatic cancer in animals. Sodium nitrite is the most common of the nitrite family and is found in almost all brands of hot dogs, sausages, bologna, salami and similar processed meats. Hams and some bacons are not treated with nitrates.

If you do eat processed meat, it is important to buy meats that are naturally cured or made from real ingredients, not chemicals.

Previous research has linked consumption of both red and processed meat with colorectal cancer.


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