Many Americans eat processed meats every day despite the fact that they're loaded with preservatives.
Now, new research published in the British Journal of Cancer shows a link between processed meats, like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and lunchmeat, etc., and pancreatic cancer.
The study of nearly 7,000 pancreatic cancer cases found that for every 50-gram serving of processed meat consumed, or about one link of sausage, your chance for pancreatic cancer increases 19 percent.
Previous studies showed a link between processed meats and colon cancer.
The Swedish researchers explained that the problem with processed meats is the added nitrites and nitrate chemicals that preserve the meats and add color and flavor.
The good news, however, is that nitrates aren't found in many organic meats.
"Look for products that don't have nitrites because the nitrites are the ones that they think are causing the cancer," Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor, advised.
While cutting out processed food is important for good health, experts suggest you can also significantly reduce your cancer risk by doing the following:
- Stop smoking
- Slim down if you are overweight
"Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates," warned Susanna Larsson, an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute. "So as well as diagnosing it early, it's important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease."
--Published Jan. 20, 2012