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Two rashers a day can increase risk of pancreatic cancer

Eating two bacon rashers a day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19pc and the risk goes up if a person eats more, experts have said.

Eating 50g of processed meat every day -- the equivalent to one sausage or two bacon rashers -- increases the risk by 19pc compared to people who do not eat processed meat at all.

For people consuming double this amount of processed meat (100g), the increased risk jumps to 38pc, and is 57pc for those eating 150g a day.

But experts cautioned that the overall risk of pancreatic cancer was relatively low -- in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing the disease is one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women.

Nevertheless, the disease is deadly -- it is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage and kills 80pc of people in under a year.

Only 5pc of patients are still alive five years after diagnosis.

The latest study, published in the 'British Journal of Cancer', is from researchers at the respected Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

They examined data from 11 studies, including 6,643 cases of pancreatic cancer.

They found inconclusive evidence on the risks of eating red meat compared to eating no red meat.

They found a 29pc increase in pancreatic cancer risk for men eating 120g per day of red meat but no increased risk for women.

This may be because men in the study tended to eat more red meat than women.

They concluded: "Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that processed meat consumption is positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

"Red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men.

"Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings."

The study adds to understanding about the risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer.

Overall, smoking is thought to account for around a third of all cases of the disease, and smokers have a 74pc increased risk of developing it compared to non-smokers.

Irish Independent