Newswise — Fred Hutchinson cancer epidemiologist and prevention expert Dr. Anne McTiernan is available to discuss a major scientific report that for the first time has found that drinking alcohol, eating processed meat and being overweight increase the risk of developing stomach cancers.

The report, released today, was based on a systematic review of global research and released by the American Institute for Cancer Research, or AICR, and World Cancer Research Fund, or WCRF.

AICR issued the WCRF International Continuous Update Project, or CUP, report, “Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Stomach Cancer,” which found that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks (more than 1.5 ounces of pure alcohol) per day, every day, increases the risk of stomach cancers. The report also found that for every 1,8 ounces of processed meat eaten per day, every day – the equivalent of about two strips of bacon – the risk of cancers of the lower stomach increases by 18 percent.

McTiernan served on the CUP advisory committee that helped interpret the results of the meta-analysis, which analyzed 89 studies involving 17.5 million adults, of whom 77,000 were diagnosed with stomach cancers.

New evidence in the report also links cancers of the upper stomach to being overweight or obese, bringing the number of cancers now linked to carrying excess body fat to 11.

“The bottom line is to follow the AICR recommendations for cancer prevention in general,” said McTiernan, a member of the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch whose research focuses on the association between diet, physical activity and cancer prevention and recovery.

“Limit intake of alcohol, which for men means no more than two drinks a day and for women no more than one drink per day,” she said. “Eat a plant-based diet – lots of vegetables, fruits – and avoid intake of processed meats. Also, keep weight in a normal range.”

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