Swedish researchers have reported in the International Journal of Cancer that a diet high in red meat could increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, while a diet high in poultry might cut the risk.
The researchers found no significant correlation between pancreatic cancer and diets high in processed meat, eggs or fish.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. It is curable in the early stages, but is not often detected in time for treatment. Surgical removal is considered the only chance of a cure, but only a few percent of patients are candidates for this treatment. Surgery also often reveals that the cancer has spread outside the pancreas.
Dr Susanna Larsson, the lead researcher said: “Findings from our study suggest that high consumption of red meat is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.” Larsson and colleagues, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, conducted their study on more than 61,000 women. The researchers studied the possible effects of meat, fish, poultry, and egg consumption. In 17 years of research follow-up, 172 of the women participating were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Larsson said that their research findings could lead to the conclusion that individuals may lower their risk of pancreatic cancer by reducing red meat consumption.