Myths About Cancer - Exposing 5 Popular Cancer Myths
There are plenty of urban legends and myths about cancer. Some are just plain ridiculous from bras causing cancer to people should't eat sugar because it causes cancer to grown. They might a lot of cancer myths out there but we'll have a look at some really popular ones that we all should have heard about now.
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1. Cell Phones Causing Cancer
There’s been extensive debate about the veracity of this topic. Lots of scientists have argued for and against this issue up to a point where there really isn’t any formal conclusion. On the one hand, some scientists argue that the electromagnetic energy from cellphone isn’t enough to break the molecular bonds inside cells. Breakage of molecular bonds is one way cancer can happen although this is just one of many methods cancer can occur. Examples include generation of reactive oxygen species, protein phosphorylation and protein expression changes.
That might sound a bit too technical for the average reader but basically arguing on the premise of one method of causing cancer is incorrect. It is true that the energy levels are far lower than energy levels generated by X-ray or UV radiation. But as of today, the results are inconclusive. There are some studies suggesting a triple fold increase in brain tumour on the side of use of cellphones but there are also a lot of other studies disproving this myth that appears to be low in quality.There are also studies suggesting that excessive use causes increased risk but the results have also been conflicting.
The take home message is that, It is generally accepted across the board that the risk of causing brain cancer from cellphone use is extremely low although not absent completely.
2. Microwaving Plastic and Using the Microwave oven
Another popular concern is the use of plastics in the microwave oven. It is true that there are some plastics that are dangerous to be used in the microwave oven because the plastic could melt and leak chemicals into your food. Always use microwave-approved plastics and plastic wraps for your food. The FDA has issued a warning against using non-approved plastics or plastic wraps for reheating food. BPA plastics are an example, so stay away from these plastics.
Part of the main reason why this myth is circulating so wildly is the evidence used from the Cold War by some Russian scientists experimenting with microwave energy. You might have heard of extensive studies done by Swiss and Russian scientists saying that mirowaving food is bad for your health, causing a whole heap of problems from cancer to high cholesterol. The problem with this study is that the study quality is relatively poor and the methods to which they did it was rather vague.
Still, it is generally agreed that microwaving liquids do cause superheating of liquids so avoid staring at your cup of water if you wonder if it’s heated or not. Another thing that you might have noticed is that microwaving food does cause uneven heating. An alternative would be to use a convection oven. If you are still not convinced of the safety of microwave ovens, using a convection oven would be a good alternative.
3. Deodorant and Antiperspirants Poses No Health Risks
There are a lot of growing concerns regarding the use of deodorants and antiperspirants primarily if it does increase the cause of breast cancer. Why breast cancer?
Most of the lymph nodes draining from the breast goes through the lymph nodes in the armpits. There are suggestions that if deodorants enter through small skin tears or cuts at the armpits, parabens found in some deodorants can increase the risk of causing cancer. Parabens act as oestrogens and accumulation in breast tissue can cause breast cancer. Although no conclusive clinical evidence about this issue is out, some chemicals like propylene glycol, artificial colouring and synthetic fragrance can potentially cause health problems. To date, these products DON’T cause cancer.
On another note, paraben can also be found in cosmetics and sunscreens, so if you are concern then consider using paraben free deodorants, cosmetics or sunscreens.
4. Pesticides and Herbicides
Chemical Ingredients found in pesticides and herbicides may mimic oestrogen in your body and yes potentially cause breast cancer. It is agreed that these compounds are carcinogenic. Crops and plantations sprayed with pesticides do contain these compounds but they must be consumed in large quantities before causing any cancer risks. It is really impossible to tell how much pesticides are sprayed on our vegetables and fruits.
The best option is to buy organic produce. They might be a bit pricey but definitely healthier than conventional non-organic produce.
5. Charred Food Carcinogenic??
Like it or not, this myth is true. It is NOT a myth. Some of you might give an excuse why live such healthy lives and sacrifice on good grilled or BBQed food. I’m not saying that you must completely abstain from such foods. To date, research has shown that at high temperatures, amino acids can become carcinogens called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These compounds through various biochemical reactions in the body can become permanently attached to DNA. One advice to reduce the formation of these substances is to marinate your meat well enough.
Another methods is to:
- Avoiding direct exposure of meat to an open flame or a hot metal surface and avoiding prolonged cooking times (especially at high temperatures) can help reduce carcinogen formation.
- Using a microwave oven to cook meat prior to exposure to high temperatures can also substantially reduce HCA formation.
- Continuously turning meat over on a high heat source can also substantially reduce HCA formation compared with not flipping it often.
You can find out more about this through this article here. Cooked meats at high temperatures.
So are you still convinced about what you read here?
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