Tag Archives: world health organization

Processed Meat Linked to Cancer Risk

Processed meats such as ham and sausage can lead to colon cancer, but red meat is probably cancer causing also. According to the World Health Organization, foods such as hot dogs, cold cuts and bacon should be avoided if you want to improve your health and prevent cancer.

Processed Meats

Processed and red meats are linked to increased cancer risks, according to the World Health Organization. Photo by Protect America’s Dream

Experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has been looking over studies for decades and has come up with substances that cause cancer and labeled them on a scale. Processed meat is in group 1 which causes cancer and red meat is in group 2A which probably causes cancer. Colorectal and stomach cancers have been related to processed meats in the past so this classification is not all that shocking, but it does shed new light.

The overall increase in risk is small and experts cannot pinpoint exactly how much meat is too much, but they do mention that the more you eat the more your risk increases. Beef producers disagree with the findings by saying the evidence is weak and not all panel members were in absolute agreement.

“Cancer is a complex disease that even the best and brightest minds don’t fully understand,” says Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, executive director of human nutrition research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

“Billions of dollars have been spent on studies all over the world, and no single food has ever been proven to cause or cure cancer,” she says in a statement posted on the group’s web site.

McNeill does have a valid point there but eating too much red meat such as beef is still not as healthy for you as white meat.

There was sufficient evidence to label processed meats in the top tier of cancer risks – group 1 – along with asbestos and tobacco smoke. However, eating a hot dog is definitely not equal to smoking a cigarette it just means scientists are sure something causes cancer.

Red meats include pork, veal, goat, horse, lamb or mutton. Processed meats are fermented, salted, smoked, cured or treated to either keep them from spoiling or to enhance their flavor.

Experts still cannot pinpoint exactly how processed and red meats cause cancer. When meats are smoked and cured certain chemicals are created that are recognized to increase cancer risk. Some cooking methods such as frying or grilling that burn meat at high temperatures can develop cancer-causing chemicals in meat. I prefer baking or broiling when I cook to avoid the grease and preserve more nutrients so this is the healthier option for me.

The panel says that each daily 1.8 ounces of processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancers by 18%. Each daily 3.5 ounces of red meats increases the colorectal cancer risk by 17%.

I believe that since the risk of developing cancer from processed and red meats is so small, no one should panic if he or she eats bacon or a hot dog occasionally. If you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, slowly reducing the amount of red meat and processed meats is a great way to begin.

Leeman Taylor
Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice
Real Estate Investor & Internet Marketer.

Source: World Health Organization “Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meatOctober 2015

Ebola Virus is Spreading In West Africa

Back in March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) was contacted for an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, West Africa. Just recently in August of this year, the WHO declared this major epidemic to be a “public health emergency of international concern.” (New England Journal of Medicine 2014)

Ebola Virus in West Africa

WHO was contacted about outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Guinea

I am not familiar with the Ebola virus, but each time there is a spread of any sort of disease in Africa, it is often times very serious. Diseases that have known to derive from West Africa are most likely fatal or life-threatening. It is very important that we as travelers and tourists are safe in other countries and we are all aware of any potential dangers. I always wanted to visit South Africa and possibly do some projects there but my main concern now is my health and safety.

By the second week of September 2014, approximately 4,500 individuals had confirmed and probable cases, with 2296 deaths stemming from EVD (Zaire species) being reported from 5 countries in West Africa. (New England Journal of Medicine 2014) These numbers of Ebola cases seem to be increasing pretty fast and if you are in West Africa as of right now, you have to be worried. Epidemics like this one in Guinea make me think twice about traveling out of the country because my health may be at risk. It’s a good thing we have private jets and commercial airlines because when epidemics like this occur in other countries, we can be in and out of there in no time.

The case fatality rate was estimated to be 70% and the majority of patients are 15 to 44 years old with 50% being males. (New England Journal of Medicine 2014) I have never been to West Africa before but the population in Guinea must be dominated by males. The reason I say this is because over half of the patients were middle-aged males. I would like to find out other reasons why males were more likely to get the Ebola virus than females. The chances of fatality are kind of high also as patients who get the Ebola virus are not very likely to survive long after. That’s why it is very important that you report any signs or symptoms of this disease for early diagnosis and treatment.

Guinea, West Africa

Ebola virus disease started in Guinea, West Africa

How to Prevent the Spread of Ebola Virus?

This scary epidemic began in Guinea during December 2013. Ebola virus is mostly spread through contact with the body fluids of symptomatic patients. Therefore, transmission can be stopped by contact tracing, early diagnosis, patient isolation and care, safe burial, and infection control. (New England Journal of Medicine 2014) This is very helpful information for any tourist or individual traveling or is already in West Africa. Taking these safety measures can avoid any possible spread of the Ebola virus and keep us safe.

Forward projects suggest that unless control measures- including adequate case isolation, contact tracing, increased capacity for clinical management (bigger hospitals/clinics), and community and international support- improve fast, these 3 countries ( Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) will soon be reporting thousands of deaths and cases each week. (New England Journal of Medicine 2014) To say the least, I hope this Ebola virus epidemic gets under control and we all get to travel and explore other countries safely. Thank you and God bless.

Leeman Taylor
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
Internet Marketer and Real Estate Investor.

Source: WHO Ebola Response Team. The New England Journal of Medicine “Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa – The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projects”, September 23, 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society 2014