Does overcooking your meat cause cancer?

Let’s look to the research.

This excerpt is taken direct from:

American Association for Cancer Research (2009, April 22). Charred Meat May Increase Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 26, 2010, from­ /releases/2009/04/090421154327.htm

“Over the course of nine years, researchers identified 208 cases of pancreatic cancer. Preferences for high temperature cooked meat were generally linked with an increased risk; subjects who preferred very well done steak were almost 60 percent as likely to get pancreatic cancer as compared to those who ate steak less well done or did not eat steak. When overall consumption and doneness preferences were used to estimate the meat-derived carcinogen intake for subjects, those with highest intake had 70 percent higher risk than those with the lowest intake.”

You can read the entire article here.

Another article drawing a similar conclusion (this time pertaining to prostate cancer) is available here.

Long story short – don’t overcook your meat.

Dan Williams's picture

Dan Williams

Dan Williams is the Founder and Director of Range of Motion. He is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Exercise Scientist with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science. Dan is a CrossFit Coach (at CF Games Level) and four time CrossFit Regionals Athlete.


  1. Hell yeah!

  2. Rare meat brings with it, it's own sorts of issues, including parasitic infestation problems (yes even with our stringent health standards) and the risk of... if not Mad Cow at least one that's slightly eccentric??

    CJD didn't show up in co-hort populations til years later.  I don't want my meat overcooked but let me tell you I'm not a fan of it being pink in the middle either.  I just like my meat 'done'.

  3. If there is any evidence published which points to rare meat being unhealthy due to parasites, I would love to see it. I read something recently which said it is ok to eat pink pork. This is Australian pork, because the parasite commonly affecting pigs overseas has never been present here. It is a big step for people to eat there pork rare, but like other meats it has a beautiful flavour when cooked this way and is more moist. 

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