Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Emily

While total meat consumption, particularly hot dogs and other processed meat, poultry, and fish, seems to be related to the risk of developing different blood cancers, merely handling meat may also contribute to the risk. Pesticides seem to increase the risk of leukemia; however, choosing to buy organic can potentially mediate this risk. Pediatric CAT scans are also of concern with regards to childhood leukemia.

On the other hand, plants may have a beneficial effect as vegetarians may have only a quarter of the risk of developing blood cancers compared to omnivores. Broccoli, acai berries, sweet potatoes, phytates (found naturally in whole plant foods), curcumin (the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric), periwinkle-based drugs and coffee all seem to have protective effects against leukemia. Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of childhood leukemia.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

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