Braai and you'll die: Doctors' stark warning to breast cancer survivors

06 January 2017 - 12:27 By Dave Chambers
Image: ©Rudyanto Wijaya/

If you’ve survived breast cancer‚ skip the braai this weekend.

That’s the advice from US doctors who have found that higher consumption of braaied‚ grilled and smoked meat may increase the chances of death among breast cancer survivors.

Meat cooked at high temperatures contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other carcinogenic chemicals.

Doctors in Long Island‚ led by Humberto Parada‚ asked 1508 breast cancer survivors about their consumption of four types of grilled‚ braaied and smoked meat. The women were asked about their intake in each decade of life.

Five years later‚ participants responded to the same questions‚ which asked about the time period since the original questionnaire.

Findings of the study‚ published on Friday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in the US‚ include:

- Among the 1508 women‚ 597 deaths were identified‚ 40% of which were related to breast cancer‚ after a median follow-up period of 17.6 years;

- Compared with low intake‚ high intake of meat prior to diagnosis was associated with a 23% increased hazard of death;

- High vs low intake of smoked beef‚ lamb or pork was associated with a 17% increased hazard of death from all causes and a 23% increased hazard of breast cancer-specific death; and

- Compared with women with low pre-diagnosis and low post-diagnosis intake of meat‚ continued high intake was associated with a 31% increased hazard of death from any cause.

– TMG Digital/The Times