Red Meat Consumption Linked To Colon Cancer Risk January 11, 2005 Two new published studies examining diet and cancer have linked high red meat consumption to an increased colorectal cancer risk, while also casting some doubt on the claim that eating fruits and vegetables can help prevent the development of breast cancer. One study found that consuming large amounts of red meat or processed meat raised the risk of developing colon cancer by as much as 50 percent. The study included close to 149,000 adults aged 50 to 74. Study participants completed questionnaires about their eating habits. The researchers found that those who ate the most red meat were between 30 and 40 percent more likely to develop colon cancer compared with those who consumed the least. The team also found a 50 percent increased risk of colon cancer among those who ate the most processed meats. "High" red meat consumption was defined for men as 3 or more ounces per day. For women, the researchers said "high" consumption was defined as 2 or more ounces per day. On the good side, the researchers report eating fish and chicken can decrease the risk of developing colon cancer. The study, led by the American Cancer Society, appears in Journal of the American Medical Association. The fruit and vegetable study, also published in the same journal included more than 285,000 European woman. It found that fruit and vegetable consumption did not protect against developing breast cancer. The findings surprised many health professionals as several previous studies have linked fruit and vegetable consumption with a decreased risk of developing breast cancer.