Can­cer myth­busters road­show


Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Sarah Brookes

DOES sun­screen cause can­cer? Does cof­fee? Or red meat?

To mark 60 years of op­er­a­tion, the Can­cer Coun­cil of WA is head­ing to Mid­land as part of its tour around the state to de­bunk com­mon can­cer myths.

Can­cer Coun­cil WA re­gional ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Mikala Atkinson said there were many can­cer myths out there that were eas­ily spread via so­cial me­dia.

“In or­der of pop­u­lar­ity, the most pop­u­lar myth pages are re­lated to ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers, tooth­paste, chlo­rine, sun­screen and cof­fee and tea. How­ever there’s no ev­i­dence to sug­gest any of these things in­crease your can­cer risk,” she said.

“These myths are often a re­sult of ob­scure stud­ies, mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of re­search and com­mer­cial in­ter­fer­ence.

“For ex­am­ple, a com­peti­tor may start a ru­mour about in­gre­di­ents used by their com­peti­tors to po­si­tion their own prod­uct as a more de­sir­able prod­uct.

“The ease in which peo­ple can post things on the in­ter­net and across so­cial me­dia makes it very easy for these myths to spread.”

Ms Atkinson said peo­ple needed to fo­cus on what would re­duce their risk of can­cer and not those that caused un­nec­es­sary anx­i­ety and con­cern.

“What we do know is that one in three can­cers can be pre­vented by healthy lifestyle choices,” she said.

“In Aus­tralia, ap­prox­i­mately 37,000 – or one third of can­cer cases each year – are pre­ventable.

“Ev­i­dence shows that smok­ing cig­a­rettes, not be­ing sun smart, drink­ing too much al­co­hol, be­ing over­weight, not do­ing enough phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, eat­ing too much red and pro­cessed meat and not eat­ing enough fruit and veg­eta­bles in­crease a per­son’s can­cer risk.

“Our free can­cer myths Q&A ses­sion is an op­por­tu­nity to come down and have your ques­tions an­swered by our ex­perts.”

To reg­is­ter, visit or call 1300 65 65 85.

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d481005

Can­cer Sup­port co-or­di­na­tor Christina Line with re­gional ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer Mikala Atkin­son­from the Mid­land of­fice of Can­cer Coun­cil WA.

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