Bacon Linked to Cancer (Again), Ruins Morning

In a morning full of bleak news about tragedy and economic woe, this story is particularly worrisome, especially considering what I just had for breakfast (bacon, two eggs and cheese on an everything bagel): Swedish scientists "suggest" a link between processed meat, like bacon and sausage, and pancreatic cancer. According to the BBC, which cites this study in the British Journal of Cancer:

(The study) found that eating processed meat increased the risk of pancreatic cancer. The risk increased by 19% for every 50g someone added to their daily diet. Having an extra 100g would increase the risk by 38%.

Prof Larsson said: "Pancreatic cancer has poor survival rates. So as well as diagnosing it early, it's important to understand what can increase the risk of this disease."

So, have we all doomed ourselves to cancer and an early grave by enjoying a (shortened) lifetime of delicious breakfast sandwiches? Possibly, but the odds are still on our side, sort of.

Cancer Research UK said the risk of developing pancreatic cancer in a lifetime was "comparatively small" - one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women.

Sara Hiom, the charity's information director, said: "The jury is still out as to whether meat is a definite risk factor for pancreatic cancer and more large studies are needed to confirm this, but this new analysis suggests processed meat may be playing a role."

Rest assured, though, bacon has already been linked to bowel cancer, and all these risks increase if you smoke. Mind you, I am not discouraging eating bacon or smoking – quite the opposite since those are two of the greatest things we have - but maybe hold off on the second plate/pack.

Either way, enjoy your brunch this morning.

[Image via Shutterstock]