Having cancer is a very scary prospect. We all hear about cancer diagnoses in the newspapers and witness countless campaigns to raise awareness about diagnosis, treatment options and prevention; but too often we assume that our own risk of being diagnosed is minimal, if any, due to certain myths about who might have it. From assuming that only the elderly are at risk to believing that stress causes cancer, there are many misconceptions about what puts us most at risk of developing this potentially devastating disease.
In this article, we’ll dispel six common misconceptions about what increases a person’s vulnerability to cancer and empower you to gain knowledge so we can act together against the growing spectrum of malignancy.
Cancer is a complex and often misunderstood disease, but it is important to gain knowledge about the factors that increase a person’s risk. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions that can lead to confusion.
Misconception #1: Living near power lines increases risk.
Fact: Although living near high voltage power lines exposes people to EMF radiation – electrically generated electromagnetic fields – there is no conclusive evidence to show that this type of radiation directly causes any form of cancer. It is possible that long-term exposure, over several decades, could lead to a higher risk of certain types of cancers, such as leukemia or brain tumours; however, more research needs to be done on this before any conclusions can be drawn.
Misconception #2: Eating large amounts of sugar can lead to cancer.
Fact: Although consuming too much sugar is not considered healthy for anyone, there is no scientific evidence directly linking sugar consumption to an increased risk of developing cancer. Researchers have found weak correlations between high-sugar diets and elevated risks of certain cancers such as colorectal and breast cancers. However, these correlations do not indicate causation, and none of these studies controlled for other factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption that could skew the results.
Misconception 3: Artificial sweeteners are safer than sugar when it comes to reducing the overall risk of developing cancer.
Fact: While artificial sweeteners may be a preferable alternative to sugar if you’re looking to reduce your calorie intake without sacrificing sweetness, it’s important to note that they may pose health risks, depending on how often you use them. consume and the type you choose. Studies investigating links between artificial sweeteners and cancer have so far been inconclusive; however, some experts suggest that artificial sweeteners should be consumed in moderation until more research is conducted on their long-term safety profile.
Misconception #4: All forms of radiation carry an increased risk of developing cancer.
Fact: Not all forms of radiation pose the same level of danger when it comes to increasing a person’s vulnerability to cancer. It is therefore important to understand the differences between different types of radiation before drawing conclusions about your individual level of risk from radiation exposure.
For example, ionizing radiation (like X-rays) poses a much higher potential risk than non-ionizing forms (like those from cell phones) because it has a greater ability to penetrate cells and cause mutations in DNA, which can lead to tumor formation over time if levels are high enough or exposure is frequent enough over long periods of time.
Misconception 5: Wearing antiperspirant or deodorant leads to an increased risk of breast cancer due to its aluminum content.
Fact: This misconception has been widely circulated in mainstream media and social media. However, numerous studies conducted since 1999 show no correlation between wearing antiperspirants or deodorants containing aluminum salts and a higher incidence rate in women diagnosed with breast cancer compared to those who have not received a diagnosis and who do not wear such products at all.
Additionally, the researchers also studied blood levels after topical application under the arm – even after heavy use – and found only trace amounts compared to other compounds that occur naturally in our bodies, such as zinc. or selenium.
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that there is no significant link between wearing antiperspirants/deodorants containing aluminum salts and increased susceptibility to breast cancer over time. current, according to the data available in the scientific literature.
Misconception 6: Eating red meat increases the risk of developing different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer
Fact: Although regular consumption of large amounts of red meat – especially processed varieties – such as bacon or sausages has been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol as well as inflammation throughout the body. body, which promotes heart disease among others.
There is no direct and clear evidence that the habitual consumption of red meat is responsible for increasing a person’s vulnerability to different types of cancers, including colorectal cancer. Regularly eating smaller amounts does not necessarily carry the same risks as larger portions. However, if you maintain a balanced diet by incorporating other sources of protein, such as poultry and fish, as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables, it will certainly help minimize your risk of contracting different types of diseases. Whether or not you decide to stick entirely to a plant-based diet, then make a conscious effort to always eat healthy!