Processed Meat and Cancer

Processed meats - such as bacon, sausages and ham - do cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Its report said 50g of processed meat a day - less than two slices of bacon - increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.

Meanwhile, it said red meats were "probably carcinogenic" but there was limited evidence. The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits.

Cancer Research UK said this was a reason to cut down rather than give up red and processed meats.

And added that an occasional bacon sandwich would do little harm.

What is processed meat?

Processed meat has been modified to either extend its shelf life or change the taste and the main methods are smoking, curing, or adding salt or preservatives.

Simply putting beef through a mincer does not mean the resulting mince is "processed" unless it is modified further.

Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky and ham as well as canned meat and meat-based sauces.

It is the chemicals involved in the processing which could be increasing the risk of cancer. High temperature cooking, such as on a barbeque, can also create carcinogenic chemicals.

In the UK, around six out of every 100 people get bowel cancer at some point in their lives.

If they were all had an extra 50g of bacon a day for the rest of their lives then the risk would increase by 18% to around seven in 100 people getting bowel cancer.

"So that's one extra case of bowel cancer in all those 100 lifetime bacon-eaters," argued Sir David Spiegelhalter, a risk professor from the University of Cambridge.

How bad?

The WHO has come to the conclusion on the advice of its International Agency for Research on Cancer, which assesses the best available scientific evidence.

It has now placed processed meat in the same category as plutonium, but also alcohol as they definitely do cause cancer.

However, this does not mean they are equally dangerous. A bacon sandwich is not as bad as smoking.

"For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said.

Estimates suggest 34,000 deaths from cancer every year could be down to diets high in processed meat.

That is in contrast to one million deaths from cancer caused by smoking and 600,000 attributed to alcohol each year.

Red meat does have nutritional value too and is a major source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12.

However, the WHO said there was limited evidence that 100g of red meat a day increased the risk of cancer by 17%.

The WHO said its findings were important for helping countries give balanced dietary advice.

Prof Tim Key, from the Cancer Research UK and the University of Oxford, said: "This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat, but if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down.

"Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn't going to do much harm - having a healthy diet is all about moderation."

Dr. Teresa Norat, one of the advisors to the WHO report and from Imperial College London, said there were many factors causing bowel cancer.

She told BBC News website: "People should limit consumption of red meat and avoid consuming processed meat, but they should also have a diet rich in fibre, from fruit and vegetables and maintain an adequate body weight throughout life and limit the consumption of alcohol and be physically active."

The industry body the Meat Advisory Panel said "avoiding red meat in the diet is not a protective strategy against cancer" and said the focus should be alcohol, smoking and body weight.


Skin Cancer-Types, Symptoms & Risk Factors

Skin Cancer, the abnormal growth of skin cells most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur on areas that are not often exposed to the sun.

There are three major types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma.

You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by reducing the or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Checking you skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for a successful skin cancer treatment.

Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions. When melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, its more likely in the areas not normally exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.


Basal Cell Carcinoma signs and symptoms

Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your neck or your face.

Basal cell carcinoma may appear as:

  • A pearly or waxy bump
  • A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesions

Squamous Cell Carcinoma signs and symptoms

Most often, squamous cell carcinoma occurs on sun-exposed areas of your body, such as face, ears and hands. People with more darker skin tones are more likely to develop squamous on areas that are not often exposed to the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as:

  • A firm, red nodule
  • A flat lesion with a scaly crusted surface.

Melanoma signs and symptoms

Melanoma can develop anywhere on your body, in otherwise normal skin or in an existing mole that becomes cancerous. Melanoma most often appears on the face or the trunk of the affected men. In women, the type of skin cancer often develops on the lower legs. In both men and women, melanoma can occur on the skin that hasn’t been exposed to the sun.

Melanoma can affect people of any skin tone. In people with darker skin tones, melanoma tends to occur on the palms or soles, or under the fingernails or toenails.

Melanoma signs include:

  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles.
  • A mole that changes in color, size or feel, or that bleeds.
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, white, blue, or blue-black.
  • Dark lesions on the palms, soles, fingertips, or toes, or on mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, vagina or anus.

Signs and symptoms of less common skin cancers

Other, less common types of skin cancer include:

Kaposi Sarcoma: this rare form of skin cancer develops in the skin blood vessels and causes red or purple patches on the skin or mucous membranes.

Kaposi Sarcoma mainly occurs on people with weakened immune systems, such as people with AIDS, and in people taking medications to suppress their natural immunity, such as people you’ve undergone organ transplants. Other people with an increased risk of Kaposi Sarcoma include young men living in Africa or older men of Italian or Eastern European Jewish heritage.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Merkel Cell Carcinoma causes firm, shiny nodules that occur on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles. Merkel cell carcinoma is most often found on the neck, trunk and head.

Sebaceous Gland Carcinoma

This uncommon and aggressive cancer originates in the oil glands in the skin. Sebaceous gland carcinoma-which usually appears as hard, painless nodules- can develop anywhere, but most occur on the eyelid, where they are frequently mistaken for other eyelid problems.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of developing skin cancer includes:

Fair Skin Anyone, regardless of skin color, can get skin cancer. However, having less pigmented (melanin) in your skin provides less protection form damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair, and light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily, you’re more likely to develop skin cancer than is a person with a darker skin tone.

A history of sunburns Having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risks of developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns in adulthood are also a risk factor.

Excessive sun exposure Anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if the skin is not protected by sunscreen or clothing.

Sunny or high-altitude climates People who live in sunny, warm climates are exposed to more sunlight than other people who live in colder climates. Living at higher elevations, where the sun is the strongest, also exposes you to more radiation.

Moles People who have many moles or abnormal moles called dysplastic nevi are at increased risk of cancer. These abnormal moles - which often look irregular and generally larger than normal moles - are more likely than others to become cancerous. If you have a history of abnormal moles, watch them regularly for any abnormal changes.

Precancerous skin lesions Having skin lesions known as actinic keratosis can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. These precancerous skin growths typically appear as rough, scaly patches that range in color from brown to dark pink. They are most common on the face, head, and hands of fair-skinned people whose skin has been sun damaged.

A family history of skin cancer If one of your parents or a sibling has had skin cancer, you may have an increased risk of the disease.

A personal history of skin cancer If you developed skin cancer once, you're at risk of developing it again.

A weakened immune system. People with weakened immune systems have a greater risk of developing skin cancer. This includes people living with HIV/AIDS and those taking immunosuppressant drugs after an organ transplant.

Exposure to radiation People who received radiation treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and acne may have an increased risk of skin cancer, particularly basal cell carcinoma.

Exposure to certain substances Exposure to certain substances, such as arsenic, may increase your risk of skin cancer.

Be a Hero. Take a Stand. Fight Pancreatic Cancer.

It’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

The pancreas is a vital organ in the human body. It contains 2 glands that help balance the level of sugar in your blood and help break down fats and proteins. Having cancer of the pancreas is basically having your body slowly shut down. According to the American Cancer Society only 23% of patients with this disease live past the first year of diagnosis. It is the forth leading cause of cancer death with a maximum of a 5 year survival rate.

Pancreatic Cancer is no joke, but there are many ways to help out and fight this battle!

First and foremost, know the symptoms:

-Jaundice: yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

-Pain in the upper and/or middle abdomen and back

-Loss of appetite


-Unexplained weight loss


Second, know the risk factors:


-Chronic pancreatitis

-Inherited conditions

-Long-standing diabetes

Third, take a stand and fight!

Being aware, keeping a healthy weight (with diet and exercise), and knowing your risks are a great way to start. Become a hero in your own community and help the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network raise awareness and money for the cure. Join in on the PurpleStride Run/Walks in your state! Help this month, and throughout the year, by being a volunteer to raise awareness, run or walk as a team or individual to help raise money for research and to take a stand against Pancreatic Cancer.

This month PurpleStride is coming to:

-Houson, Texas-November 23rd

-Central Florida-November 23rd

-South Florida-November 24th

Find an event in your state and how to help out here:

Has pancreatic cancer affected you and your family? Please share your story below to help raise awareness, bring hope, and stick together to fight this disease! 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and How You Can Help

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Show Your Support:

-Run for the Cause

Susan G Komen's Race for the Cure is dedicated to finding a cure. Find a race in your state and show your support here: 

-Buy Anything "Pink"

Products that are helping support research and have the authentic ribbon are giving back usually 20 percent or more.

Find Jewelry, Beauty, and Fashion items that support Breast Cancer Research Here:

-Donate Directly

By donating directly to the National Breast Cancer Month Foundation 100 percent of your donation is used for research.

Donate Here: National Breast Cancer Month :

Hope totes- Buy Business Merchandise 

Your business can even help by buying directly from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month's website, which can be personalized with your businesses' logo. (in bulk starting at 50)

(Photo: Hope Totes) 
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