Eating burnt meat raises risk of pancreatic cancer

April 22nd, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 22 (IANS) Avoid eating meat nearly charred or burnt in cooking, as it increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Kristin Anderson, associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, said the finding was linked to consumption of well and very well done meats cooked by frying, grilling or barbecuing.

Cooking in this way can form carcinogens, which do not form when meat is baked or stewed.

Anderson and colleagues conducted a prospective analysis that included 62,581 participants. “My research has been focussed on pancreatic cancer for some time, and we want to identify ways to prevent this cancer because treatments are very limited and the cancer is often rapidly fatal,” she said.

Anderson and colleagues used information from surveys that were a part of the PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian) Multi-centre Screening Trial. Participants provided information about their meat intake, preferred cooking methods and doneness preferences.

Over the course of nine years, researchers identified 208 cases of pancreatic cancer. Preferences for high temperature cooked meat were generally linked with an increased risk.

Subjects who preferred very well done steak were almost 60 percent more likely to get pancreatic cancer as compared to those who ate steak less well done or did not eat steak, said a Minnesota release.

“We cannot say with absolute certainty that the risk is increased due to carcinogens formed in burned meat,” said Anderson.

However, those who enjoy either fried or barbecued meat should consider turning down the heat or cutting off burned portions when it’s finished; cook meat sufficiently to kill bacteria without excess charring.

The data were presented at the 100th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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