The meaty mineral that can slash your cancer risk

Pancreatic cancer is the disease that ultimately claimed the life of Steve Jobs last year -- and if a guy with all that power and money can't beat it, you know it's bad news.

But I can't help but wonder if the guy's vegan lifestyle did him in -- because there's a key mineral that can minimize your risk of this deadly cancer... and if you're munching on bunny chow, you're missing out.

It's selenium, and just a few years ago I was the only one talking about its cancer-fighting powers.

Now, it's a mainstream buzzword -- but it's so much more than a blurb on a supermarket vitamin label, because a new study finds that selenium can slash the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 95 percent.

That's as close as you can get to a guarantee you'll avoid the disease.

The best source of selenium is Brazil nuts -- but let's face it, how often does anyone eat Brazil nuts? Most of us get our selenium from fish, beef, chicken and eggs -- and obviously, vegans aren't getting it at all (unless they really love Brazil nuts).

Along with selenium, make sure you're getting in on nickel -- and I don't mean the coins, which are worth more as scrap metal than currency these days. The same new study finds that nickel can slash the risk of pancreatic cancer by about a third.

Of course, all the nickel and selenium in the world won't keep the disease at bay if you're poisoning yourself each day -- and if you're drinking tap water, you're poisoning yourself each day.

Lead, which leeches into the water from old piping, will increase your odds of the disease by 600 percent. The heavy metal cadmium, also turning up in U.S. drinking water, will more than triple it. Arsenic will double your risk -- and if you guessed that's also in your water, you guessed right.

The only way to keep 'em all out -- and all the other frightening extras, from drugs to hormones, routinely discovered in U.S. drinking water -- is to invest in a reverse-osmosis filtration system and install it where the water enters your home.

These systems are not expensive -- and they could save your life.

I'm not done with pancreatic cancer yet -- keep reading for the one type of meat you need to avoid.