Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide. More than half of cases occur in more developed countries. The consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal, mutton) is high in developed countries and accumulated evidence until today demonstrated a convincing association between the intake of red meat and especially processed meat and CRC risk. In this review, meta-analyses of prospective epidemiological studies addressed to this association, observed link of some subtypes of red meat with CRC risk, potential carcinogenic compounds, their mechanisms and actual recommendations of international guidelines are presented.
Keywords: Red meat; colon cancer; colorectal cancer; processed meat; rectal cancer.