Flame-broiled food tied to breast cancer

April 05, 2000

Women who regularly eat flame-broiled food such as hamburgers, steaks and chicken double their risk of developing breast cancer, according to a preliminary study by scientists at Johns Hopkins Oncology Center.

Dr. Kathy Helzlsouer, a cancer epidemiologist, said this week that the risk occurred among women who ate grilled foods at least twice a month. The finding is from a comparison of 110 women with breast cancer and 113 with no cancer history.

When meat is cooked in direct contact with heat, flare-ups can cause carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines to collect on the meat. Helzlsouer said the study was too small to be considered conclusive.

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