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Research Article

A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk

  • Amanda J Cross mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: crossa@mail.nih.gov

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Michael F Leitzmann,

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Mitchell H Gail,

    Affiliation: Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Albert R Hollenbeck,

    Affiliation: AARP, Washington DC, United States of America

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  • Arthur Schatzkin,

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Rashmi Sinha

    Affiliation: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, United States of America

    X
  • Published: December 11, 2007
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325

Reader Comments (10)

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Control for Obesity, Alcohol, Browning and Fiber

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:17 GMT

Author: William Moreno
Position: Technical Project Manager
Institution: None
E-mail: f8knows@yahoo.com
Submitted Date: December 11, 2007
Published Date: December 12, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

As I read this study I was easily able to associate several other possible causative agents with your results other than concluding that eating a lot of red and processed meats is responsible for these cancers:

• For example it is well known that the chemicals used in processed meat as preservatives are carcinogenic
• Obese men in particular have a higher incidence of esophageal cancer. They are likely to be big eaters of meat as well as being big drinkers of alcohol which of course is associated with liver cancer.
• The process of barbecuing or grilling meat produces carcinogenic chemicals in the browned or charred parts of the meat

Facts and reason compel me to accept that colorectal cancer can be associated with frequent consumption of large amounts of processed meat, but I cannot accept that simply eating high proportions of non-charred red meat by non-fat people leads to any of these cancers; especially if the person is also consuming fiber in adequate amounts.

Competing interests declared: I have no competing interests to declare