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On 25 October 2015 the Cancer Agency of the World Health Organisation issued a press release that eating processed meats (including bacon, ham and sausages) caused cancer and that there was limited evidence which suggested that  eating red meat might cause cancer.


This should not come as a surprise: cancer organisations have recommended for many years that we should eat only moderate amounts of lean red meat and that we should limit or avoid processed meats.


The Cancer Council of Australia recommends people:

  • Consume moderate amounts of unprocessed (or fresh) lean red meat.  A moderate amount of meat is 65–100 g of cooked red meat, 3–4 times a week.  This would be approximately ½ cup lean mince, two small chops or two slices of roast meat.  Other substitutes for a serve of meat include 65–100 g cooked chicken, 80–120 g cooked fish fillet, two small eggs, ⅓ cup cooked legumes (lentils, chickpeas, split peas, dried or canned beans) or ⅓ cup nuts.  Those eating meat should also try to eat plenty of plant-based foods like fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals.
  • Limit or avoid processed meats, which are high in fat and salt.  Processed meats include sausages, frankfurts, salami, bacon and ham.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat and chicken, and remove any skin.
  • Eat fish (preferably oily) at least two times per week.
  • Limit consumption of burnt or charred meat, and choose cooking methods such as casseroling, boiling or microwave heating, rather than high-temperature grilling, pan-frying or barbequing.


I suspect that what most of us with advanced prostate cancer eat now is very different to what we used to eat before our diagnosis.


The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has also issued a response to the World Health Organisation announcement.

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