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Pan-Fried Red Meat Increases Risk for Prostate Cancer

Mariana C. Stern, Ph.D.
University of Southern California
NIEHS Grant P30ES007048


An NIEHS grantee and her colleagues found that consuming more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week is associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer. The findings point to carcinogens that accumulate in meats cooked at high temperatures as potential risk factors for prostate cancer.


The researchers examined data from nearly 2,000 men with and without prostate cancer. They looked at whether consuming various red meats, processed meats, and poultry was associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. They took into account cooking methods, meat doneness, and estimated levels of carcinogens.


The study showed that men who consumed more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 30 percent, and eating 2.5 servings of red meat per week cooked at high temperatures increased risk 40 percent. Of the red meats studied, hamburgers, but not steak, were linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, especially among Hispanic men. Men with diets high in baked poultry had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, while consumption of pan-fried poultry increased risk.


The researchers say that if future studies replicate their findings, then guidelines would be useful for helping the public understand how to cook meat in a way that reduces these carcinogens.


Citation: Joshi AD, Corral R, Catsburg C, Lewinger JP, Koo J, John EM, Ingles S, Stern MC. 2012. Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer: results from the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study. Carcinogenesis; doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgs242 [Online 20 July 2012].

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