Tuesday 20 February 2018

Cancer expert warns of dangerous 'myths'

Georgina O'Halloran

MANY people mistakenly believe factors like stress, wearing tight underwear and using mobile phones are major cancer risks, a doctor has warned.

Dr Derek Power, a medical oncologist at Cork University Hospital, said a study carried out in the city proved that cancer 'myths' were still widespread.

"Many wrongly think that a blow to the breast, genetically modified foods and aerosols are major cancer risks," said Dr Power.

A large proportion of people over-estimate the genetic cancer risk, while many underestimate the risks from obesity, alcohol and sunlight exposure.

"This misinformation needs to be addressed in campaigns, emphasising that diet and lifestyle, including smoking, account for 90-95pc of cancers," he said.

A total of 748 people took part in the study, which was carried out by students at UCC.

Of those surveyed, 90pc believed genetics strongly increased cancer risk, when only 5pc to 8pc of cancers are due to an inherited gene.

The survey was carried out with Breakthrough Cancer Research and the Irish Cancer Society.

Irish Independent

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