Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 1 decade ago

What are the truths about vegans having a higher cancer rate?

I read this in the San Francisco Chronicle

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Its actually the other way around. Vegans have a much LOWER chance of getting cancer

  • 1 decade ago

    T. Colin Campbell, a qualified nutritionist, Dr. Joel Furhman, Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. John McDougall, among others, all argue that a vegan diet is best for all sorts of diseases. Campbell focuses the most on cancer, even writing a book about how a non-vegan diet promotes all sorts of diseases, focusing mostly on cancer of all types. Quite frankly, there's no reason a vegan diet would result in a higher cancer rate, while all the research points toward the opposite. At least all the research to date. I wish you linked to the article.

    EDIT: Campbell's book is called The China Study. And I actually looked on the SF Chronicle's site. The only professionally written article (not a letter to the editor or editorial) on the subject was a piece saying veganism reduces prostate cancer. I have no clue what you read.

  • 1 decade ago

    If people were to live long enough anyone could develop cancer. This has also been a proven fact. Cancer is simply cells developing abnormally or good cells developing at abnormal rates. The human body, no matter how magnificent it is, is not perfect. Give it enough chances and it will fail no matter the variables included. It is simple statistics.

  • Thing
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I've never heard of that before. In fact, i'm a nutrition student and i've learned that vegans and vegetarians actually have a lower risk of getting cancer due to the high amounts of fruits and vegetables they eat. Obviously fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and contain antioxidants. Meat eaters are at a higher risk for cancer because nitrates are produced when you eat meat and that can cause cancer (that's if you eat a lot of meat). Not saying it's bad to be a meat eater either. I'm not vegetarian but I do support those who are.

    Source(s): I'm a nutrition student.
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  • 1 decade ago

    That's really not true...I wonder who the author is...? They really don't know what they're talking about...

    Here's some information I gathered from this website:

    Cancer Prevention:

    A vegan diet helps prevent cancer. Studies of vegan show that death rates from cancer are only about one-half to three-quarters of those of the general population. Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in countries where diets are typically plant-based. When people from those countries adopt a Western, meat-based diet, their rates of breast cancer soar. Vegans also have significantly less colon cancer than meat eaters. Meat consumption is more closely associated with colon cancer than any other dietary factor. Why do vegan diets help protect against cancer? First, they are lower in fat and higher in fiber than meat-based diets. But there are other important factors also. For example, vegans usually consume more of the plant pigment beta-carotene. This might help to explain why they have less lung cancer. Also, at least one study has shown that natural sugars in dairy products may raise the risk for ovarian cancer in some women. Some of the anti-cancer aspects of a vegetarian diet cannot yet be explained. For example, researchers are not quite sure why vegans have more of certain white blood cells, called "natural killer cells," which are able to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

  • 1 decade ago

    Vegans could very well have a higher cancer rate if they are consuming lots of soy. Soy is not the health food most people think that it is. Dr. Russel Blaylock has stated that soy will actually make breast cancer grow faster. Soy is also one of the biggest food allergens.

    Most people don't realize that if soy is not sprouted or fermented it is not going to be digestible. It can rob your body of precious minerals and create hormonal imbalances.

    Vegans look to soy for protein, but it can actually cause amino acid deficiencies with its trypsin inhibitors.

    Only a few soy products are considered edible and they are pretty much all fermented.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, the truth is that vegans and vegetarians have a much lower cancer rate than the general public (omnivores). Google "cancer" and "vegan" and you'll see what I mean.

  • lo_mcg
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You should provide a link to the article you read.

    No reputable cancer charity or information service or website lists a vegan diet among the risk factors for any type of cancer.

    A vegan diet does not offer automatic protection against cancer; yes, vegans get cancer - I'm a vegan whose had cancer, and through cancer support networks I have met three other vegans with cancer, one a lifelong vegan. But the percentage is not greater than the percentage of non-vegans, and for some types of cancer it is lower.

    A diet high in red and processed meat is a major risk factor for colorectal cancers; a diet high in meat and fat is also thought to possibly increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, and a diet high in red and processed meats is thought to possibly increase the risk of stomach cancer, as is a diet high in salt. A diet high in dairy is thought to be a possible risk factor in prostate cancer.

    There is no type of cancer for which lack of meat or lack of dairy, or both, are even suspected as a risk factor.


    Edit* Just noticed the post claiming a link between soya and cancer.

    There is no actual scientific evidence that soya causes, prevents, contributes to or affects the progress of any cancer, including oestrogen positive breast cancer, which is the one most often cited (not all breast cancers are oestrogen driven).

    Soya proteins contain isoflavones that can mimic a weak oestrogen effect. It's not the same as the oestrogen your own body makes though - it is 1,000 times weaker than your own body's oestrogen, but it's this that has led to concerns (and rumour) about oestrogen dependent cancer.

    In fact there are those in the field who argue that isoflavones may be of help in preventing breast cancer or be beneficial to women who have had breast cancer.

    There is current research into whether increasing phyto oestrogens in the diet helps to prevent breast or prostate cancer, and a study in 2002 found that women with the highest levels of soya products in their diets had the lowest breast density - higher breast density being associated with higher breast cancer risk.

    Women with the highest levels of isoflavones in their diet are reported to have significant risk reductions for uterine cancer.

    The charity and information service Breakthrough Breast Cancer gives information about current research into a link between soya and breast cancer, and says:

    ''Because phyto-oestrogens can act like oestrogen they can have similar effects to oestrogen, but at high doses they may actually block the effects of oestrogen. ''


    ''Some studies found that regularly eating foods that contain phyto-oestrogens might lower the risk of breast cancer, whereas others found that they have no effect.''

  • 1 decade ago

    Never heard of anything like this. You should add a link to the article.

  • 1 decade ago

    other way around! ive never heard it vicee versa

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