Just one sausage a day can significantly raise your risk of bowel cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease, according to an analysis by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). Eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily -- about one sausage or three pieces of bacon -- raises the likelihood of the cancer by a fifth.
Processed meats may also trigger cancer in the prostate, lung, stomach and esophagus.
Processed meats include bacon, ham, pastrami, salami and hot dogs. Sausages and hamburgers can also fall into the category if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives.
The analysis also found that red meat raises the risk of bowel cancer, but to a lesser extent. Processing raises levels of cancer-causing chemicals called N-nitroso compounds, making bacon, sausages and other processed meats more deadly.
WCRF recommends people avoid eating all processed meats, although they say that at least eating smaller quantities would be beneficial.
According to estimates, if everyone cut down on red and processed meat, one in 10 cases of bowel cancer could be prevented.