Here’s Dr. Greger’s video about lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the immune system, specifically lymphocytes or white blood cells.
He begins by discussing this study, which found that meat eaters had a higher risk for all cancers, especially lymphoma. In fact, of all the cancers that not eating meat protected against the most, it was lymphoma, especially a type called multiple myeloma (not to be confused with melanoma, a skin cancer):
Cancer Incidence In British Vegetarians, British Journal of Cancer, July 2009
The most striking finding was the relatively low risk for cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues among vegetarians.
By the way, this study found an especially large risk for stomach cancer among meat eaters. If you combine meat eating, drinking alcohol (alcohol causes cancer at higher rates along oral cavity and stomach) and smoking (which exacerbates the cancer-causing effect of alcohol) you’ve laid the groundwork for stomach cancer down the road.
Also of note, this study did not investigate cancer risk in vegans because, “there are currently too few cancers [among vegans] to be informative.”
So, what type of meat increases lymphoma risk the most? Enter the EPIC study, the largest (half a million people), prospective study on diet and cancer in human history:
Consumption Of Meat And Dairy And Lymphoma Risk In The European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer And Nutrition, International Journal of Cancer, April 2010
It was poultry consumption — associated with a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, all grades of follicular lymphoma, B-cell lymphomas in general, including B-cell chronic lymphatic leukemia, including small lymphocytic leukemia and prolymphocytic lymphocytic leukemia.
Up to triple the rates for every 50 grams of daily poultry consumption. A cooked chicken breast averages over 200 grams; so that’s for just a quarter of a chicken breast worth of poultry.
I’m reproducing this chart because I’m shocked at one particular number. Under FL, follicular lymphoma, he highlights the average increased risk of 3.80. (That’s triple your risk.) But the range of risk, those numbers to the immediate right of the 3.80, they go up to 10.91! Of course, they could be outliers, but it’s still striking. That’s 10 times the risk! Just for eating chicken.
Chicken is not your friend.