A recent study has pointed out that eating meat often, especially one that is well cooked at high temperatures may up the risks of bladder cancer.
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center study was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010.
"It's well known that meat cooked at high temperatures generates heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that can cause cancer," said study presenter Jie Lin, Ph.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Epidemiology. "We wanted to find out if meat consumption increases the risk of developing bladder cancer and how genetic differences may play a part."
HCAs form when muscle meats, such as beef, pork, poultry or fish, are cooked at high temperatures. They are products of interaction between amino acids, which are the foundation of proteins, and the chemical creatine, which is stored in muscles. Past research has identified 17 HCAs that may contribute to cancer.
This study, which took place over 12 years, included 884 M. D. Anderson patients with bladder cancer and 878 people who did not have cancer. They were matched by age, gender and ethnicity.
Using a standardized questionnaire designed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers gathered information about each participant's dietary habits. They then categorized people into four levels, ranging from lowest to highest red meat intake.
The group with the highest red-meat consumption had almost one-and-a-half times the risk of developing bladder cancer as those who ate little red meat.
Specifically, consumption of beef steaks, pork chops and bacon raised bladder cancer risk significantly. Even chicken and fish - when fried - significantly raised the odds of cancer.