Enjoy your bacon sarnie this morning with a clear conscience
Millions of people are at risk of getting cancer unless they slash levels of alcohol and red meat in their diets, medical experts have warned in a landmark study.....
I have actually downloaded the report , all 537 pages of it. It is a vast data dredge. I have failed to spot any Relative Risks which approach 2 - (an increase of 100%) - In epidemiologic research, [increases in risk of less than 100 percent] are considered small and are usually difficult to interpret. Such increases may be due to chance, statistical bias, or the effects of confounding factors that are sometimes not evident. [Source: National Cancer Institute, Press Release, October 26, 1994.]
Of course if we want to really save "10,000 deaths a year from cancer" according to a report four years ago by Professor Karol Sikora we just have to improve our healthcare to the European average for cancer treatment. That is 10,000 that die because of the NHS and the unique way it is run. And as he says in response to this report;
THE World Cancer Research Fund has dramatised the "bullet points" and has exaggerated the risk by saying, for example, don't eat bacon and processed meat. Small amounts of these won't do you any harm - it's only harmful when you eat a lot of fat, with no fibre, no fruit and no vegetables.
It is true that people who eat a lot of meat and fatty meat - the sausage-and-chips culture - eat less fruit and vegetables and that is probably why they have a higher risk of cancer. It's not the meat itself that is doing it.
There is nothing new from this report and it has created an awful lot of stress amongst people, and cancer patients now feel that if they'd only eaten more sensibly in their lives they wouldn't be in the situation they're in.
Yesterday in my clinic I had patients asking exactly that and it is not really very helpful. A third of all cancers are dietary related but the message is very complicated. We've all got to eat and it's a matter of balancing foods that are good for you, such as fruit and vegetables, and the foods that may be bad.
This report is scaremongering without really any data whatsoever and that upsets people. It is not going to change people's lifestyles. It will make people worry unnecessarily. ..