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Hot Dogs & Leukemia

How much cancer risk can be avoided through lifestyle change?

September 17, 2009 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited


Image thanks to stu_spivack.


We do have to put this risk into context. Our children are 7 times more likely to develop a brain tumor eating just a single hot dog a week than using a cell phone. In fact if our children insist on wanting to be Oscar Myer weiners, they are multiplying their odds of getting childhood leukemia by 950%.
Diet is the number one cause of cancer. Cancer is a preventable disease, but it does require major lifestyle changes. Only 5-10% of cancer is in our genes, our family history. 90 to 95% of cancer is caused by what you expose your body to. Of the 90-95%, tobacco contributes about a quarter of the risk in the United States. There are some infectious causes, particularly in people with AIDS, but diet, if you include obesity and alcohol, makes up about 50% of our cancer risk, and cell phones, air pollution, x-rays, everything else all just fits into this last 10-15%.
Anything about our diet in particular? From a massive new study in Canada last year, total meat consumption was directly related to the risk of not only stomach cancer, but colon cancer, and rectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and lung cancer, and breast cancer, and prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, and kidney cancer, and bladder cancer, and more leukemia as well.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the prequel "Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?". Also, there are covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer and Diet andAdding FDA-Approved Viruses to Meat.

  • Toxins

    Dont forget the China Study!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the prequel “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?”. Also, there are covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • Mtmama

    Thank you for this.  WOW!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Breast Cancer and Diet!

  • Cherie

    I have chronic low white blood cells for several years now.  Two years ago switched to a vegan plant based diet.  My cholesterol dropped from 288 to 228. Blood sugar is better too. My low wbc 3.3 ish is now 2.8 ish.  My g.p. got nervous and sent me to hematology.   McDougall site says some vegans have lower wbc due to lower pathogens, etc.  My rbc are below normal too but not by much. The eosinophils, basophils and the other one are normal.  I am have no symptoms of any blood disorder at this time.  In fact at 57, female, I am amazingly healthy, fit and loving the vegan way of life. I read this site all the time and refer many folks.  I am interested in anything you might know about the low white blood cells.  One more thing.
    I am told that I am a “clumper”.  My blood clumps and is hard to count.

  • Mo s

    why arn’t all these “FACTS” taken to court to sue all these serial killing food producers?

  • Sammut

    I agree with you. They should be taken to court and in many cases they are, but are hardly ever won. Why? Its because there are always high powered people making millions of dollars out of the food industry. Michael greger is absolutely right; meat and dairy products, including all processed foods and drugs are the disease causation s. Plant food are the primary protective agents to most diseases, unless they are inherited (family trait, genetically relative). Most cancers are acquired (meaning after birth) and what you eat or are exposed too. NO billion dollar company is going to patent a natural cancer cure if there is no money to be make from it.

    Its a shame, but a fact of life. Until governments and politicians start understanding the importance and benefits of diet and good nutrition is towards the prevention, control and maybe cure of most degenerative diseases, then any health care system will not prevail in curing patients from disease. Nutrition education and awareness is critical and should be taught to all families, children and their parents in schools, on TV and in newspapers.

    John from Malta

  • elsie blanche

    Dr. G, near the end of this video you mention “total meat consumption was directly related to the risk of many cancers.” What do you mean by “directly related”? A cause or correlation or both? I often get confused when I hear “directly related” referencing medical issues. Any clarity on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • Russ