It is now a well-known fact that cooked meat contains substances that can cause cancer. One type in particular has been intensely studied – heterocyclic amines – and the latest study focusing on a heterocyclic amine called PhIP has shed more light on why exactly is this substance so dangerous. The authors of this study performed a series of experiments and tests and found out that PhIP can not only damage the DNA (and therefore cause cancer) but it also has a strong estrogen-like effect. That means that hormone sensitive cancer cells such as those in breasts can become much more invasive and cause cancer to grow and spread at an accelerated rate.
Lauber, S.N., Gooderham, N.J., 2011. The cooked meat-derived mammary carcinogen 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine promotes invasive behaviour of breast cancer cells. Toxicology. 279: 139-145.