Can I Eat Red Meat If I Have Colon Cancer?

Last Modified: June 29, 2011

Question:

Is it ok to eat red meat if I have colon cancer?

Answer:

Karen Wagner, MS, RD, LDN, Registered Dietician at Penn Medicine , responds:

The research into red meat and colon cancer is certainly confusing. The strongest link between colon cancer risk and meat consumption seems to be particularly with processed or cured red meats, such as bacon, sausages, and cured ham. There is also an increased risk of colon cancer and charred meats, such as grilled or barbeque meats. In general, many dietitians recommend limiting consumption of red meat, particularly processed or grilled meats to once a week or less. However, these changes can come gradually. It is not necessary to completely avoid red meat if you are diagnosed with colon cancer.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See full archive of IntegrativeTherapies in Cancer Care.

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