The Risk of Processed Meats

ThinkstockPhotos.dv1005011It was a heartbreaking moment for meat lovers everywhere when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) deemed processed meats, like bacon and hotdogs, “carcinogenic to humans.”

The News Journal reported that “50 grams of processed meat a day, about 1.75 ounces, increases the risk [for colon cancer] by 18 percent.”

Dr. David Kastenberg, a gastrointestinal cancer specialist and Professor of Gastroenterology in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University added, “Colon cancer is a pretty common disease. The risk is 1 in 18 in your lifetime, when you increase that number by 20 percent that is sizable.”

While reducing one’s intake of processed meats could reduce the risk of colon cancer, Dr. Kastenberg emphasized that does not mean patients should skip colon screenings.

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