A recent survey shows a surprising number of Americans believe scientifically unproven claims concerning cancer. Don’t let yourself be a victim of misinformation. Test your knowledge with this quiz.
1. Sugar causes cancer tumors to grow faster.
False. Although all human cells, including cancer cells, use glucose (blood sugar) for energy, there is no evidence that sugar speeds up tumor growth. Likewise, removing sugar from your diet will not slow tumor growth, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
2. A person can “catch” cancer from another person.
False. No cancer is spread person to person through personal contact, but some cancers may be caused by viruses that are contagious. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that increases the risk of cervical, anal, and some types of head and neck cancers. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses transmitted by infected intravenous needles and sexual activity can increase liver cancer risk.
3. Eating grilled or pan fried meat can cause cancer.
True. When meat is grilled or fried, chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), are created. These chemicals are found in higher quantities when meat is well done or burned and can increase a person’s cancer risk.
Experts at the National Cancer Institute recommend limiting the amount of grilled meat in your diet, and avoiding the burnt parts altogether. They also recommend marinating and precooking meats in a microwave before cooking by other methods. Keep in mind that many grilled foods are safe and good for you, including grilled vegetables and fruits.
4. Using deodorants or antiperspirants can increase your breast cancer risk.
Stories posted online claim deodorants or antiperspirants contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin via nicks and cuts from shaving, therefore putting people who use them at higher risk for breast cancer.