This is according to a new study, led by Oxford University, into the link between red and processed meats – such as bacon, sausages and packaged deli meats like salami – and bowel cancer.
Eating even small amounts of these meats was linked to an increased risk.
For every 10,000 people in the study, 40 people who ate 21g of red or processed meats daily were later diagnosed bowel cancer.
This figure increased to 48 people for those who ate 76g a day: three bacon rashers, three ham slices or half an 8oz sirloin steak.
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The findings “confirm” previous studies on the link between certain meats and cancer risk, Professor Gunter Kuhnle, at the University of Reading, told the BBC.
“The results confirm previous findings that both, red and processed meat consumption, increase the risk of colorectal cancer,” he said.
"The increase in risk of approximately 20% per 50g increase of red and processed meat intake is in line with what has been reported previously, and confirms these findings.”
In a linked study last year, it was discovered eating bacon and sausages could increase breast cancer risk by as much as 9%.
These findings support previous research by the World Health Organisation linking the consumption of processed meats with higher cancer incidence rates.