Meat Linked to Cancer for Second Time this Fall
After WHO declares red/processed meat carcinogenic
Yet another study has linked eating meat to cancer, but this time chicken was also linked to the disease. However, scientists were able to tease out more details about the association.
Dr. Xifeng Wu and colleagues at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston studied 659 patients just diagnosed with kidney cancer and compared them to 699 individuals without cancer. The researchers wanted to verify the link between meat and cancer, as well as determine what other factors might help explain it. They looked at the types of meat participants ate, how they cooked it, and whether the participants were genetically predisposed to kidney cancer.
The team reported in the journal Cancer that people who ate the most grilled red meat and chicken had a higher risk of kidney cancer. Participants with 2 genetic mutations were found to have the highest risk. 
“This study, and others like it, suggest that the way we cook our meat could potentially impact kidney cancer risk,” said Dr. Wu.
Susan Gapstur, vice president for epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, explains that certain cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are released by meat when it is cooked at high temperatures, some of which are linked to kidney cancer. The substances can change DNA and increase cancer risk. 
“This study offers some clues that meat cooked at high temperature might increase the risk for cancer, especially among people with certain genetic mutations,” Gapstur said.
The study only found an association between eating meat cooked at high temperatures and kidney cancer risk, not that grilling meat actually causes cancer. Previous studies based on detailed food questionnaires, however, have shown a link between an increased consumption of well-done, fried or barbequed meats and a higher risk of colon, pancreas and prostate cancer. Scientists have also said that cutting back on red meat consumption could prevent thousands of cases of colon cancer.
“A few previous studies have looked at kidney cancer and these carcinogens, but this is the first study to find an association between one of these specific mutagens (MeIQx) and kidney cancer risk,” says Dr. Wu.
MeIQx is one of the heterocyclic amines formed by high temperature cooking.
Interestingly, Wu and his colleagues also found that the people with genetic mutations also tended to consume more calories, less fruit and were more obese. Due to the fact that the researchers only surveyed non-Hispanic white adults, the results may not be relevant to other racial and ethnic populations.
The study comes one month after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that red meat and processed meats – like bacon, cold cuts and sausage – can cause colon cancer. Eating processed meat was placed in the same risk category as smoking cigarettes.
 NBC News
Julie Fidler has written hundreds of articles on key world topics such as health, drugs, and law. She is also the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. Oh, and she loves to take care of two ridiculously- spoiled cats in her free time.