Imagine this: It’s a beautiful day and you’re at a family picnic where everyone brought something tasty to share. The hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill smell so good in the crisp fall air. You’re enjoying a fun game of flag football while working up an appetite for this delicious lunch. This scenario seems perfectly innocent, right? Little did you know, there are hidden dangers in the meat that you are about to eat.
This week, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued a report* and press release revealing the connection between the consumption of processed meat and cancer. Their findings are as follows:
Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other methods to enhance flavor or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal (the internal organs of an animal used as food), or meat by-products such as blood.
“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans,
based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of
processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”
“The experts concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat
eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.”
According to the most recent estimates by the Global Burden of Disease Project, an independent academic research organization, about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meat.
Examples of Processed Meat
Meat-based preparations and sauces
Now you may be wondering, what in the world am I going to eat if I want to avoid processed meats? Some options are vegetables, beans, nuts, fruits, unprocessed turkey and chicken, eggs, and fish, to name a few.
Protect Yourself from Colorectal Cancer: Virtual Colonoscopy
Even if you give up processed meats today, what about those that you have eaten in the past? The best way to protect yourself against colorectal cancer besides preventing it is to get screened for it. If there are any abnormalities, then your best chance at beating cancer is to catch it early so that you can stop it.
Did you know that there is a non-invasive alternative for colon cancer screening? Virtual colonoscopy uses an EBCT scan to take pictures of the inside of the colon from outside of your body and allows a physician to examine a colon that may be constricted by swelling or abnormal growth. Virtual colonoscopies have many benefits over conventional colonoscopies, as well.
Have peace of mind knowing that disease can be detected, safely and comfortably, in its earliest stages. Call us today to schedule your virtual colonoscopy at 281-579-3600.
*A summary of the final evaluations is available online in The Lancet Oncology, and the detailed assessments will be published as Volume 114 of the IARC Monographs.