Meat and Milk Linked to Colon Cancer, Study Confirms

A new study suggests that DNA found in beef and cow’s milk is linked to the development of colorectal cancer. 


Bovine meat and milk factors (BMMFs)—DNA molecules that are found in beef and cow’s milk—have been linked to the development of colorectal cancer, according to new research published in the scientific journal Molecular Oncology. The new research builds on a 2014 study that identified BMMFs as representing a class of infectious agents in beef and cow’s milk.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER). An estimated 153,020 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2023, according to the American Cancer Society. The earlier colorectal cancer is found, the better the chances of survival. 

If colorectal cancer is detected before it’s spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate increases to 90 percent. The new research suggests that monitoring the presence and rate of expression of a BMMF-encoded replication protein in inflammatory sites of tissues may help identify individuals at risk for developing colorectal cancer.

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