- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) carcinogens, may increase the risk of incident breast cancer.
- Meat cooked at high temperature generates PAH and other carcinogenic chemicals.
- Breast cancer - specific mortality was decreased among women with any pre- and postdiagnosis intake of smoked poultry/fish.
Higher consumption of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat may increase the mortality risk among breast cancer survivors. Humberto Parada, Jr., MPH, and colleagues evaluated the link between grilled/barbecued and smoked meats and the survival time after breast cancer in the study, entitled "Grilled, Barbecued, and Smoked Meat Intake and Survival Following Breast Cancer."
In a study population of 1508 Long Island women with breast cancer, subjects were interviewed and asked about their consumption of four types of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat.
‘All-cause mortality risk was elevated by 31% in women with continued high grilled/barbecued and smoked meat intake after diagnosis of breast cancer.’
The women were asked about their intake in each decade of life and were asked to specify the seasons in which the foods were most frequently consumed. At the five-year follow-up, participants responded to the same questions, which asked about the time period since the original questionnaire.
High-temperature cooked meat intake is a highly prevalent source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other carcinogenic chemicals and has been associated with breast cancer incidence, but this study assessed whether intake is related to survival after breast cancer.
The findings show that compared with low intake, high intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat prior to diagnosis was associated with a 23% increased hazard of all-cause mortality.
After a median duration of follow-up of 17.6 years, among the 1508 case women, 597 deaths were identified, 237 (39.7%) of which were related to breast cancer.
High vs low intake of smoked beef/lamb/pork intake was associated with a 17% increased hazard of all-cause and a 23% increased hazard of breast cancer-specific mortality.
Also, lifetime grilled/barbecued and smoked meat intake and prediagnosis annual intake of grilled/barbecued beef/lamb/pork and poultry/fish were not associated with mortality.
The increase in risk of death from any cause was similar in magnitude among women who reported high prediagnosis and low postdiagnosis intake of grilled/barbecued and smoked meat.
The study's findings support the hypothesis that high consumption of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meat may increase mortality after breast cancer.
- Humberto Parada, Grilled, Barbecued, and Smoked Meat Intake and Survival Following Breast Cancer, Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2017)