New research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden confirms that processed meat products such as bacon, sausages and smoked ham, can increase the risk of stomach cancer. The review, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute looked at 15 studies and found that increasing the consumption of processed meat by just half a portion per day (30 grams), raised the risk of stomach cancer by between 15 to 38 per cent. Processed meats are often salted or smoked, or have nitrates added to them to extend their shelf-life, which could be connected to the increased risk of stomach cancer. Previous work has shown that eating high levels of red or processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer, and there is growing evidence linking red meat to pancreatic cancer.
Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. 2006. Processed meat consumption and stomach cancer risk: a meta-analysis. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 98 (15) 1078-1087.