Is Processed Meat a Carcinogen?

BACON, SAUSAGES, HAM, BEEF JERKY

Does processed meat casuse cancer?

Yes, processed meat causes cancer; this includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, ham, and beef jerky.

The effect of carcinogen on cells and cell cycle

Researchers are still trying to pin down exactly how red and processed meat cause cells to become cancerous but the problems seem to start when a chemical called haem- part of the red pigment in the blood, haemoglobin- is broken down in our gut to form a family of chemicals called N-nitroso compounds. These have been found to damage the cells that line the bowel, so other cells in the bowel lining have to replicate more in order to heal. And it's this 'extra' replication that can increase the chance of errors developing in the cells' DNA.
Cooking meat a high temperatures, such as grilling or barbecuing, can also create chemicals in the meat that may increase the risk of cancer.

Types of cancer caused by processed meat.

  • colorectal cancer
  • pancreas cancer
  • prostate cancer

Effect of cancer on body

Cancer from processed meat affects the pancreas, the colon, and the skin.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

  • dark urine
  • light-colored stools
  • itchy skin
  • abdominal or back pain
  • weight loss and poor appetite
  • digestive problems (pale, greasy stools, nausea and vomiting)
  • Gallbladder enlargement
  • blood clots
  • fatty tissue abnormalities

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool which may make it look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

Symptoms of skin cancer

  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles
  • A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue or blue-black
  • Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus

Cancer Diagnosis

  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Cholangiopancreatography
  • Enoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)
  • Pet scam
  • Angiography
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy
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Cancer Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapies
  • Immune therapy

Cancer Prevention

Consume less meat

Eating more vegetables, nuts and fruits instead of meat. Meat isn't the only source of protein. Nuts are too!

Sources

cancer.org
bbc.com
npr.org
scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org