Print Edition - 2018-05-03  |  Health and Living

Fake cancer causes belief ‘rife’

  • New study

May 3, 2018-

Increasing numbers are getting the risk factors wrong. Smoking, being overweight and overexposure to UV radiation are the biggest preventable causes of cancer. Cancer Research UK said about four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through lifestyle changes and it was important to have the right information to “separate the wheat from the chaff”. A research carried out the survey and found that more than 40 percent wrongly thought that stress and food additives caused cancer. One-third incorrectly believed that electromagnetic frequencies and eating genetically modified (GM) food were risk factors, while some thought microwave ovens and drinking from plastic bottles caused cancer, despite a lack of good scientific evidence.

Smoking was, correctly, selected by 88 percent of those surveyed, 80 percent picked passive smoking and 60 percent said sunburn were causes of cancer—all proven. Believing in fake causes of cancer did not mean people were more likely to have risky lifestyle habits, but those who were better informed about the proven causes of cancer were more likely not to smoke, the study found. They were also more likely to eat more fruit and vegetables. It’s worrying to see so many people endorse risk factors for which there is no convincing evidence.

Published: 03-05-2018 07:51

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