Rebecca Ward Consulting - Business Effectiveness and Planning
RSS

Recent Posts

2018 STOP Domestic Violence Conference Australia
Two slimming supplement brands sold online found to contain banned substances
The Dangerous Game of Telephone in Hospitals
What Causes Domestic Violence?
Broken to Brilliant - Audio Book Launch

Categories

ACHSM
Aged Care
Big Pharma
Budget
Business
Caffeine
Cardiology
Cartoon
Connecting
Cost Effectiveness
Depression
Domestic Violence
Education
electronic health records
Emergency Department
Employment
Freebies
Funding
Gun Control
Healthcare
Infectious Disease
Legal
Legal Humour
Medical Humour
Mental Health
Mining
Newsletter
Nursing
Obesity
Opthalmology
Patient Safety
Pharmacology
politics
Presentation Skills
Public Speaking
Queensland
Roads
Safety
Strategy
Stress
Suicide
Theatre Caps

Archives

July 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013

powered by

My Blog

WHO Clarifies Processed Meat/Cancer Link After 'Bacon-gate'

WHO Clarifies Processed Meat/Cancer Link After 'Bacon-gate'
Zosia Chustecka:   November 02, 2015

After days of headlines proclaiming that bacon and hot dogs cause cancer following the World Health Organization's (WHO's) classifying processed meat as a human carcinogen ― in the same category as tobacco and asbestos ― the WHO released a statement in clarification. It pointed out that the latest report from the International Agency of Cancer Research (IACR), issued last week, "does not ask people to stop eating processed meats"; rather, it indicated "that reducing consumption of these products can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer."

The WHO also published online a question-and-answer document and tweeted large parts of this in an attempt to present the facts ― but it was a little after the event, coming 4 days after the IACR report had been published, after headlines worldwide had demonized bacon and sausages, and after the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisBacon had been trending.

A major point made in the WHO Q&A document is that although processed meats have now been classified as carcinogenic to humans (IACR Group 1), and although this category also includes tobacco and asbestos and other substances, the WHO pointed out that the substances in this classification are not "all equally dangerous."

"The IARC classifications describe the strength of the scientific evidence about an agent being a cause of cancer, rather than assessing the level of risk," it added.

In other words, hot dogs and cigarettes present different risks, a fact not entirely clear when the report, which has been dubbed "Bacon-gate," was issued.

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; red meat could be responsible for 50,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide.

In contrast, about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally are due to tobacco smoking, 600,000 per year are due to alcohol consumption, and more than 200,000 per year are due to air pollution, the WHO points out.

The WHO also repeated the estimates presented by the IACR in its report, saying that every 50-g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk for colorectal cancer by about 18%, and that 100 g of red meat could increase the risk for colorectal cancer by 18%.
It did not, however, emphasize that these are relative risks. That was left to others.
Cancer Research UK (CRUK), in a scienceblog, used UK population data to give some absolute numbers.

In the United Kingdom, colorectal cancer affects about 61 of every 1000 people. Those who eat the lowest amount of processed meat are likely to have a lower lifetime risk than the rest of the population (about 56 cases per 1000 people who eat little or no meat). Those who eat the most processed meat would have an increased risk (about 66 cases per 1000 people).

CRUK also issued a graphic (reproduced below) to illustrate how the risk for cancer from eating processed meat and red meat compares with the risk from smoking tobacco.







1 Comment to WHO Clarifies Processed Meat/Cancer Link After 'Bacon-gate':

Comments RSS
Red Fred on Thursday, 5 November 2015 10:25 PM
Bacon is best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint