From The Cancer Chronicles #22
© July 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

Just as you were getting ready to dust off the rusty hibachi comes a trio of reports that children who regularly eat hamburgers, hot dogs, and/or cured meats increase their risk of developing various kinds of cancer.

Sara Sarasua and David A. Savitz of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studied the eating habits of 440 children, 234 of whom had cancer, as well as of their mothers during pregnancy. These facts "jumped out":

  • Children who ate 12 hot dogs per month had a 9.5 times increased risk of leukemia.
  • Children who ate hot dogs once a week doubled their chances of brain tumors; twice a week, they tripled it.
  • The children of men who ate franks often had an 11 times greater risk of leukemia than normal.
  • Women who ate hot dogs during pregnancy doubled their offsprings chances of developing brain cancer.
  • Kids who ate the most ham, bacon and sausage had a tripled risk of lymphoma.
  • Kids who ate ground meat once a week had twice the risk of acute lymphocytic leukemia than those who ate none, and triple the risk when they ate two or more hamburgers weekly.

    The good news was that regular vitamin supplement intake counteracted many of these effects. "There was a general pattern in which failure to take vitamins conferred a greater increase in risk than eating lots of meats," said Dr. Savitz (Science News, 4/23/94).

    In fact lunch meat was only a risk for children not taking vitamin supplements. "If theres a benefit to taking vitamins," Savitz added, "that benefit is greatest for children who are consuming more of these meats." If, doctor?

    These timely findings appeared in March 1994 Cancer Causes and Control. They were assailed by a scientist who contends that cooked beef (and Cheese WhizÆ) have anticancer effects. Meanwhile, an ACS official claimed that no definite link has been shown between childhood cancer and frankfurters (Chicago Tribune, 6/4/94).

    ACS wants to study the matter further--the same thing they told me when I wrote on carcinogenic nitrates in frankfurters for The Nation back in 1981.


    From The Cancer Chronicles #20 © March 1994 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

    Eating red meat was recently linked to the development of prostate cancer. (In the past, it had been linked to the promotion of that same disease.) Men eating red meat five times a week or more faced 2.5 times the risk of developing such cancer as men who ate it less than once a week (JNCI 2/16/94).

    Meanwhile, in Holland, a large study failed to implicate red meat per se (as many expected) but did find processed meats and especially sausages to be a cause of colon cancer.

    R. Alexandra Goldbohm and her colleagues quizzed over 120,000 Dutch men and women about their eating habits. In Cancer Research (2/94) they report that they found no link between colon cancer and the intake of animal protein, animal fat, or freshly cooked meats. However, there was a 72 percent increase in colon cancer among those who ate more than 20 grams (7/10ths of an ounce) of processed meat, such as sausages, per day.

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    Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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