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BACKGROUND - The role of processed meat in the aetiology of several cancers was explored in detail.
METHODS - In the time period 1996-2004, a multisite case-control study was conducted in Montevideo, Uruguay. The study included 6 060 participants (3 528 cases and 2 532 controls) corresponding to cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, larynx, lung, female breast, prostate, urinary bladder, and kidney (renal cell carcinoma only).
RESULTS - The highest odds ratios (ORs) were positively associated with cancers of the colon, rectum, stomach, oesophagus, and lung. With the exception of renal cell carcinoma, the remaining cancer sites were significantly associated with elevated risks for processed meat consumption. Furthermore, mortadella, salami, hot dog, ham, and salted meat were strongly associated with risk of several cancer sites.
CONCLUSION - It could be concluded that processed meat intake could be a powerful multiorgan carcinogen.