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Health News Archive 708 - Cancer Risk
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Cooking Method Influences Prostate Cancer Risk

The association between meat intake and prostate cancer risk was examined in 29,361 American men participating in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. During follow-up, a total of 1,338 prostate cancer cases were documented, of which 868 were incident cases (diagnosed after the first year of follow-up). Total meat intake and intake of red and white meat were not associated with prostate cancer risk. However, men who consumed more than 10 g/day of very well-done meat had a 40% higher risk of prostate cancer and a 70% higher risk of incident prostate cancer than did men who consumed no very well-done meat.

Comment by Alan Gaby, M.D.:

High-temperature cooking of meat results in the formation of heterocyclic amines, which can cause prostate tumors in experimental animals. The results of the present study suggest that consumption of heavily cooked meat may promote prostate cancer in humans as well. Eating well-done meat has also been associated with increased risks of breast and colon cancer. In addition, high-temperature cooking of meats causes the formation of advanced glycation end products, which appear to play a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, and inflammation. Cooking meats and other animal foods at lower temperatures for longer periods of time seems to be safer than cooking at higher temperatures for shorter periods of time.

Cross AJ, et al. A prospective study of meat and meat mutagens and prostate cancer risk. Cancer Res. 2005;65:11779-11784.

Reprinted with exclusive permission from The Townsend Letter. Sept 2007

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