EATING more than 25 grams (that’s less than 1oz) of red or processed meat a day can increase the chances of bowel cancer, boffins say.
But what does it look like on your plate when you keep to the recommended limit? Here’s our portion guide for the Easter hols — if you’re still peckish there’s always a choccy egg.
25g portion is all you can m-eat
Pig sick… little chance of filling up on a just a single rasher of bacon
Feeling stick… even the extra tiny morsel of Peperami won’t be enough to fill up on this spicy favourite
Being bull-ied… this serving would result in a beef with the chef
What a carve-up… you wouldn’t get much pork to get your teeth into
Banger to rights… half a sausage is too little to chew
Baa-rmy… serving up half a lamb cutlet would end with a roasting
S-ham… only a single slice is not enough for a sarnie for your picnic
Mis-steak… diners wouldn’t fancy having this measly amount
Pepper-moany… just five pieces would barely top one slice of pizza
Burger off… even MaccyD’s offering would need to be trimmed
How to reduce your risk of bowel cancer…
Those risk factors may make for worrying reading – but there are ways to reduce your risk.
Scientists actually believe that around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by simply living a healthier lifestyle.
Limiting the amount of red meat you eat and avoiding processed meat as much as possible could be a good place to start.
Dr Lisa Wilde, director of research at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “Making simple changes to your lifestyle can help stack the odds against bowel cancer.
“As well as avoiding processed foods, like bacon, ham and salami and limiting our intake of red meat, increasing our intake of wholegrains and pulses, being of a healthy weight, cutting down on alcohol, taking more exercise, and stopping smoking will make a real difference to our health in general.”
Making simple changes to your lifestyle can help stack the odds against bowel cancerDr Lisa WildeBowel cancer UK
Being active can help you maintain a healthy body weight which is another way of reducing your risk.
Experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, such as a brisk walk, every day.
You should also be mindful of your calorie intake – avoid sugary snacks and drinks and be aware of portion sizes.
THERE’S NO TIME 2 LOSE
THE Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.
And it called on the Government to lower the screening age from 60 to 50 – to bring it in line with Scotland.
Last summer, the health secretary Matt Hancock listened and agreed to start bowel cancer screening at 50 – meaning everyone in England will get a test on their 50th birthday.
A date for the roll out of screening at 50 has yet to be announced.
But the move could save more than 4,500 lives a year, experts say.
Bowel cancer is the second deadliest form of the disease, but it can be cured if it’s caught early – or better still prevented.
Caught at stage 1 – the earliest stage – patients have a 97 per cent chance of living for five years or longer.
But catch it at stage 4 – when it’s already spread – and that chance plummets to just seven per cent.
Last April, Lauren Backler, whose mum died of the disease at the age of 55, joined forces with The Sun to launch the No Time 2 Lose campaign, also supported by Bowel Cancer UK.
Lauren delivered a petition to the Department of Health complete with almost 450,000 signatures, to put pressure on the Government to change the screening age – a move that could save the NHS millions.
She believes her mum could have been saved if screening had been available – and now campaigns to ensure others don’t lose their loved ones to this potentially curable disease.
The recommended daily calorie intake is around 2,000 calories each day for women and 2,500 for men.
Also consider cutting out smoking and drinking alcohol – both are linked to an increased cancer risk.
Researchers have started to look at the effects of some medication to see if can lower the bowel cancer risk – but so far there is little evidence to support the claims.
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One of which is statins – widely used to prevent heart attacks and strokes – but some studies suggest they may play a role in preventing bowel cancer.
Other studies have shown that people who take aspirin regularly for three years or more have a reduced risk of developing non-cancerous growths and bowel cancer.
But aspirin may also cause side effects, such as indigestion or bleeding, and it’s not clear how safe it is to take regularly.
Fry-up served inside a loaf of bread brings whole new meaning to bacon sarnie