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Bacon Lovers Get A Dish Of Bad News From World Health Organization

DENVER (CBS4) - Bad news Monday for bacon lovers. A new report says bacon and other processed meats cause cancer and red meat probably contributes to it, too.

From bacon to bologna, ham to hot dogs; if you fill up on processed foods world cancer researchers say you face a real risk of colon, stomach and other cancers.

(credit: CBS)

After evaluating 800 studies, scientists from the World Health Organization put processed meats in the same danger category as smoking or asbestos.

Oncologist Dr. S. Lindsey Davis specializes in gastro intestinal cancers at the University of Colorado Hospital. She isn't surprised by the study results.

"You know the important take away from it is we now have this link. But the study doesn't provide us with data about how much is too much," Davis said.

Oncologist Dr. S. Lindsey Davis
CBS4's Kathy Walsh talks with Oncologist Dr. S. Lindsey Davis (credit: CBS)

The researchers went beyond processed meats, also reporting that red meat is a likely cause of cancer. The North American Meat Institute calls the report "dramatic and alarmist."

Julie Moore, Director of Nutrition and Education for the Colorado Beef Council, believes everything in moderation.

Red Meat steaks
(credit: CBS)

In talking about a possible connection between red meat and cancer she said, "The beef industry has looked at some of that same research and honestly, there's not any single food that's been implicated."

Davis is quick to use the study as a reminder.

"Really the most important point from my perspective, it just reinforces that vital need for colorectal cancer screening," said Davis.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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