The wart-causing viruses in animals may present more than just a cosmetic issue for consumers.
Image thanks to Rachel Clarke.
Last year, I talked about Butcher’s warts, a condition that afflicts those who handle fresh meat for a living because of the viruses in meat, but it’s more than just a cosmetic issue. Earlier this year, a landmark study of cancer mortality in poultry workers was released. We’ve known that people who handle a lot of fresh chicken get a lot of warts on their hands, but the concern is that some of the wart viruses are oncogenic, or cancer-causing. Workers in poultry slaughtering and processing are exposed to these cancer-causing viruses, some of which are the most potent cancer-causing agents known in animals, but what does that mean for people?
Well, compared to the general population, poultry workers appear to have an excess of cancers of the mouth, nasal cavities, throat. Cancer of the tongue, the tonsils, the inner ear, then down the esophagus, rectal/anal cancer, and liver, bone marrow, and blood cancers as well.
The reason it’s so important to study this group is because it’s possible that the cancer-causing viruses present in poultry and poultry products could be transmitted to anyone handing raw poultry. Proper cooking will kill any and all chicken wart and cancer viruses, but the problem is that meat may come into our homes fresh or frozen and contaminate our hands or kitchen surfaces before it gets into the pot.
Same concern with other meat. There was a fascinating case report about pork intake and human papillomavirus, HPV, which can cause cancerous anal and genital warts. Oh, the poor guy. 19 years old. Giant warty tumor nearly an inch in diameter protruding from the tip of his penis. They cut it off, but it grew right back and so they asked for a dietary history. He was eating more than a pound of pork a day. They told him to stop the pork, and the tumor completely regressed on its own—totally disappeared.
The doctors were so blown away, they even went as far as to suggest that the low cervical cancer rates in Israel could be because they eat so little pork.
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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For more context, check out my associated blog post, Poultry and Penis Cancer.
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