Doctor's on call: Bacon, sausage linked to cancer

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British Journal of Cancer states a new link has been found in eating processed meats and the formation of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is one of the types of cancers that boast the highest mortality rate among all cancers.

The study confirms that eating processed meats daily increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer up to 38%. The data was gathered from 11 clinical trials and over 6 000 pancreatic cancer patients and concluded that this deadly condition can be caused by what is in your refrigerator.

Pancreatic cancer is classified the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the world.

Although it is not as common as many other cancers, it is responsible for 6% of cancer deaths each year. In 2010, it was estimated that over 40 000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It has been found that 95% of pancreatic cancer victims die within five years of diagnosis.

The use of preserving agents such as nitrites was found to be the link in the production of cancer. These agents have been known to be severe carcinogens for many years.

Despite numerous scientific studies confirming the link, processed meats have suspciously stayed on the market.

The methods used for processing meats include preserving, canning, freezing, refrigeration, and dehydration. Many processed meats are made with unhealthy trans-fats, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium and sugar.

Shopping hints processed meats found to be high in nitrates:

Canned meats and corned beef.

Smoked fish and meats.

Summer sausage, breakfast sausage and bacon.

Frozen fish sticks and all other frozen prepared dinners.

Hot dogs, bologna, ham, turkey roll and turkey breast.

Liverwurst, pastrami, prosciutto, roast beef, salami, and pepperoni.

Beef jerkies, biltong, meat sticks and other dried meat snacks.

There are several meat sources for sausages including beef, pork, mutton, veal and poultry. Meat by-products are also commonly used such as lips, tripe, pork stomachs and heart. These processed foods and pre-packaged meals are very convenient and popular.

Read the fine print the processed meat food label:
Chemical free: Beware, this term is not allowed to be put on any processed meats.

Corn syrup: Sugar that is used as a flavouring agent and sweetener in meat and poultry products.

Emulsifier: Added to products, such as meat spreads, to prevent separation of product.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG): MSG is a flavour enhancer.

Phosphates: The two primary effects in meat and poultry products are moisture retention and flavour protection.

Sodium nitrite: Used alone or in conjunction with sodium nitrate as a colour fixative in cured meats and poultry products.

Texturisers/stabilisers/thickeners: Used in foods to help maintain uniform texture or consistency.

Becoming an informed consumer can be the most important factor in protecting you and your family from tragedy.

The common processed meats are laced with poisons that increase the risk of developing cancer. Studies have linked nitrates to many other forms of cancer as well.

These cancers include, but are not limited to oral cavity, urinary bladder, esophagus, stomach and brain.

We encourage you to take a copy of the article with you the next time you go shopping. Read the labels, save your life.

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