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Bad News for Steak Lovers

Posted on Nov 14, 2006
flickr / daxiang stef

Young women who eat plenty of red meat may be up to twice as likely to develop a common form of breast cancer, according to a new study of more than 90,000 women.

Washington Post:

The study of more than 90,000 women found that the more red meat the women consumed in their 20s, 30s and 40s, the greater their risk for developing breast cancer fueled by hormones in the next 12 years. Those who consumed the most red meat had nearly twice the risk of those who ate red meat infrequently.

The study, published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is the first to examine the relationship between consumption of red meat and breast cancer in premenopausal women, and the first to examine the question by type of breast cancer.

Although more research is needed to confirm the association and explore the possible reasons for it, researchers said the findings provide another motivation to limit consumption of red meat, which is already known to increase the risk of colon cancer.

“There are already other reasons to minimize red meat intake,” said Eunyoung Cho, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. “This just may give women another good reason.”

Cho added that the findings could be particularly important because the type of breast cancer the study associated with red meat consumption has been increasing. Eating less red meat may help counter that trend.

Other researchers said the findings could offer women one of the few things they can do to reduce their risk for the widely feared malignancy. Breast cancer strikes nearly 213,000 U.S. women each year and kills nearly 41,000, making it the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death among women.


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stravis40's avatar

By stravis40, August 16, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

How much is “plenty”? Any meat is good in moderation, if you indulge of course it’s bad for you.

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By Michele Wells, November 15, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most cattle raised in this country are regularly fed growth-promoting hormones to make them fatter faster.  Since hormones that are fed to cattle were cited as a possible reason for the increased risks for women in eating red meat, consumers would be wise to look for sources for grass-fed beef, which is raised solely on grass.  I have worked in the meat industry for more than 20 years, and grass-fed beef is now the only beef I’ll eat.

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By Susan B., November 15, 2006 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe growth hormones play an important role in this study.  However…everyday it is something else that causes cancer.

Ladies…do self breast exams every month, get mammograms every year, and quit worrying about it.

Nobody knows what causes breast cancer. It’s a crap shoot.

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By satinam, November 15, 2006 at 12:10 am Link to this comment
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There hae been esoteric correlations between the way an animal is treated in its life,and how it is killed,with the degree of aggression and anger inherent in those who eat meat,and in particular red meat. When one considers that 100’s of thousands of animals are slaughtered daily in the US for consumption in the country,and these are not free-range,grassfed happy cows,nor pigs allowed to roam the barnyard as pigs might do on an ordinary day.These are factory farmed,possibly hormone fed,on nonorganic feed.When one considers all this,it is less of a wonder that breast and colon cancers,and war, become products of the techno-mono culture that we live in.
The solution it seems would certainly be to take all that space used to grow grain to feed the US’s meat addiction,and grow high protein Organic grains for human consumption,perhaps not unlike what the new Senator{Tester}does on his organic grain farm in Montana.Afterall,it’s a much more effecient use of energy,to eat High on the food chain.

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By Jeanne, November 14, 2006 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
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The meat industry has to be studied. They use WAY too much growth hormone and antibiotics. Another thing, if I could suggest anything it would be that the world eat less meat. I am not suggesting giving it up but eat less. If people had a real picture of the size of the industry and the damage it’s doing to the planet there would be action done to correct it. Very troubling industry. Mind you, I’m not suggesting doing away with the industry. I’m suggesting a good, honest look at it. You talk about global warming…

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