Does bottled water cause breast cancer? How about laser hair removal? Can green veggies cure cancer? Or can aspirin helps prevent cancer? Do food preservatives cause cancer? Do you need pap tests if you've had the HPV cervical cancer vaccine?... this list is endless. There is so much information out there about cancer, but can you separate the myth from the fact?
It's not always easy, so you need a reliable source. A circular email from your aunty or hear-say from a friend is often misinformation, and it can be hard to keep on top of new discoveries or mounting evidence that changes the status quo.
So, where does this leave us? In an effort to combat misconceptions Cancer Council has launched a website iheard.com.au. It's here to bust the myths and give you the evidence-based answers to questions about cancer.
You can post questions with links to videos or articles about cancer and our experts will give you the answers. You can browse by category or keyword. Just an example of the kind of information that's up on the site already, topics include: does SPF50+ sunscreen gives more protection than SPF30+, can vegetables can be contaminated by pesticides and cause cancer, and are some types of cigarettes are less likely to give you cancer?
New Cancer Council research has found that three quarters (76%) of Australians are confused about cancer prevention and risk. People mistakenly believe that measures like drinking plenty of water (50%), getting enough sleep (47%) and positive thinking (43%) reduces their risk of cancer. More than half (54%) of people in the study thought stress causes cancer, but there was limited awareness around things that do cause cancer, such as processed meat (31%), alcohol (47%) and being overweight (53%).
I think it's great that there is now a reliable source of information out there that addresses online cancer rumours. What do you think of the new site? What have you heard causes/prevents cancer? Get involved and tell us what you have heard about cancer at iheard.com.au
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