Processed meat has long been associated with other cancers of the pancreas, prostate and intestines, but this study is the first to show a link with tumors that develop in the breast.
Women who consumed the most processed meat have more than 9% risk of developing the disease, according to a meta-analysis of data from 28 previous studies.
This new Harvard study offers another reason for women to continue to reduce its consumption: it could cause cancer.
Scientists grouped data from 28 previous studies and found that those who ate more were more prone to breast cancer.
Maryam Farvid, senior author of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said: ” Previous work has associated increased risk of certain types of cancer with increased consumption of processed meat.”
“This recent meta-analysis suggests that consumption of processed meat may also increase the risk of breast cancer.”