Sunday 25 February 2018

Tight underpants don't raise men's cancer risk, research suggests

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Men who think tight-fitting underpants increase the risk of cancer can stop worrying, experts have said.

Fears that men who carry mobile phones in their pockets or spend a lot of time on their laptops will get cancer have also been debunked.

The advice has come from researchers at University College Cork (UCC) in association with Breakthrough Cancer Research who investigated the level of understanding of cancer risk factors among Irish men.

Dr Aoife Ryan, a dietitian and lecturer in nutritional sciences at UCC and co-author of the research, said the findings show that many of the beliefs held by men about cancer have no scientific backing.

"For example, between 45pc and 52pc believed that wearing tight underwear, carrying mobile phones in pockets or extended use of computers on their laps increased their risk of testicular cancer," she said.

"We also found that most are concerned about developing cancer but, worryingly, less than 50pc had sought information to help them lower their cancer risk.

"These findings again highlight the need for straightforward, evidence-based in- formation about cancer and risk factors."

Dr Ryan said the survey of 913 men showed that one in three wrongly saw eating dairy as a cancer risk and 44pc incorrectly thought that taking supplements would protect them against the disease.

Eight per cent were wrong in thinking that a history of cancer in their family meant there was nothing they could do to ward off the disease.

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