Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal types of cancer, with a 5-year relative survival of about 5.5% (Howlader et al, 2010). Thus, identification of risk factors for this cancer is of great public health importance. Dietary factors could conceivably influence the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, although no dietary factor has been convincingly associated with pancreatic cancer risk (2007). High consumption of red meat and/or processed meat has been associated with increased risk of some gastrointestinal cancers, such as colorectal (Larsson and Wolk, 2006; Chan et al, 2011) and stomach cancer (Larsson et al, 2006b).
Whether red and processed meat consumption is a risk factor also for pancreatic cancer remains unclear. The authors of this report therefore conducted a dose–response meta-analysis of prospective studies to examine the associations of red and processed meat consumption with pancreatic cancer risk.
Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that processed meat consumption is positively associated with pancreatic cancer risk. Red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men.