Chemicals in Meat Linked With Bladder Cancer

Posted on Aug 15, 2010 in Cancer

by Emiliana Gareth

The chemicals found in most meat, including those that keep botulism out of your bologna could also raise your risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers are suggesting that nitrites and nitrates, the chemicals added to meat to help them preserve better, make their color more attractive and taste improve are responsible for an increased chance of bladder cancer, based on findings from more than 300,000 people.

Every year, approximately 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with bladder cancer, while more than two percent of the nation’s population will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetime.

Smoking and exposure to arsenic are known risks associated with the cancer, according to senior researcher Dr. Amanda Cross of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland; “however, other exposures are likely involved,” she said. “We investigated whether compounds found in meat, formed either during the meat cooking process — heterocyclic amines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons — or during meat preservation — nitrates and nitrites — were associated with bladder cancer.”

During the 7-year study, 854 of those who participated (less than 0.3 percent) were diagnosed with bladder cancer.