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Meat Lovers Face Greater Risk of Bladder Cancer

Red meat, pork and bacon, when cooked at high temperatures, are worst offenders, study shows

TUESDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Eating meat frequently, especially when it's well-done or cooked at high temperatures, can boost the risk of bladder cancer, a new study suggests.

"It's well-known that meat cooked at high temperatures generates heterocyclic amines that can cause cancer," study presenter Jie Lin, an assistant professor in the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center's department of epidemiology, said in a news release from the cancer center. "We wanted to find out if meat consumption increases the risk of developing bladder cancer and how genetic differences may play a part."

This study tracked 884 patients with bladder cancer and 878 who didn't have it. They responded to questionnaires about their diets.

Those who ate the most red meat were almost 1.5 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who ate the least. The study linked steak, pork chops and bacon to the highest risk. But even chicken and fish -- when fried -- upped the risk of cancer, the study found.

"This research reinforces the relationship between diet and cancer," study author Dr. Xifeng Wu, a professor in the department of epidemiology, said in the news release. "These results strongly support what we suspected: people who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer."

Certain people seemed to be at even higher risk because of their genetic makeup, Wu said.

The findings were presented Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

More information

For more about bladder cancer, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, news release, April 19, 2010

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