Eating barbecued fish or meat can cause cancer — Doctor warns


A Medical Practitioner, Assoc. Prof. Henry Urochukwu has warned that eating meat or fished wrapped and barbecued with aluminium foil is dangerous and consumers risk developing cancer in the long run.

He stated this in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state while presenting a lecture during the 10th President Installation/Award Ceremony of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi State chapter.

Urochukwu, who is the Dean Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu said meat and fish wrapped with aluminium foil and grilled in an open fire or oven-baked allow the aluminium to concentrate in the meat or fish which if consumed together with the protein can trigger ROS DNA damage.

“The presence or addition of organic acids (lemon, vinegar), oil, salt, spices, tomatoes, seasonings and water from boreholes (which contains high amount of heavy metals) to the grill, enhances aluminium leaching during heating”, he said.

He listed other dietary patterns and lifestyles which can lead to cancer to include excessive alcohol intake, tobacco use, and food additives.

He also frowned against the burning of tyres in place of wood in the removal of animal furs from meat a practice known as singeing which he said has serious health implications and can also lead to cancer.

“Singeing has serious health implications because tyre-derived fuel contains lead, zinc, copper, styrene-butadiene, carbon black, aromatic coil among others which is consumed together with the meat”, he said.

Urochukwu said proper nutrition and a dietary lifestyle can help in the prevention and management of cancers.

He however noted that listed lack of proper information, awareness creation and education and the near absence of safety measures as some of the major challenges in using nutrition to prevent and manage the disease

The ceremony witnessed the installation of Dr Ugochukwu Madubueze as the 10tyh President of tge Association and awards to four distinguished recipients among whom is Prof Johnson Obunna, Medical Director of National Obstetric Fistula Centre (NOFIC), Abakaliki

Madubueze in her acceptance speech said her administration will aim to complete the association’s secretariat, carry out awareness criterion campaigns on topical health issues and cater to the welfare of its members.

He called for the support of members and friends of the Association to enable her administration to succeed.

Obunna, recipient of the Association’s Health Care Delivery Award thanked the Association for recognising his modest contributions towards the health care of the people.

While noting that the award will spur him to do more, Mr Obunna pledged to continue supporting and partnering with the Association to achieve its aims and objectives.

Obunna nóted that NOFIC has some of the best equipment on cancer management which he said he will deploy to assist the Association in the right against cervical and other cancers.

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