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Rumors, Myths, and Truths

We've all seen them: Facebook posts, viral emails, and blog posts that make frightening claims about cancer risk from suprising sources. There are far too many to address here, but we've listed a few of the most common. You can also see the "What Causes Cancer" page for several other commonly talked about potential risks, from cell phone towers to water fluroridation. We would be remiss if we did not mention snopes.com as a leading source for reliable information about misinformation on social media. 

Plastic Water Bottles 
A viral message says plastic water bottles contain diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), which it calls a potential carcinogen, quoting an unidentified doctor as saying women should not drink bottled water that has been left in a car because the heat and the plastic of the bottle have certain chemicals that can lead to breast cancer.

Microwaving Plastic 
One email quotes information allegedly contained in a newsletter from Johns Hopkins University, adding that the "information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center." Some also quote "Dr. Fujimoto from Castle Hospital" as warning that heating plastic in the microwave or freezing water in plastic bottles releases toxins, like dioxin and DEHA.

Bras and Breast Cancer
The claimed cancer risk posed by bras and is one of several unproven or controversial risk factors that are frequently  linked to breast cancer. Others include abortion, antiperspirants, and breast implants. See this page for more.

Cosmetics and Cancer
While there is little evidence to suggest that cosmetics increase cancer risk, there are also no long-term studies on the issue. Read more on this page to learn what we know and what we still do not.

Chemotherapy Doesn't Work
As discussed on snopes.com: "In June 2016 several alternative health and conspiracy blogs published posts claiming that a Berkeley doctor had recently 'blown the whistle” on chemotherapy as a treatment for cancer, revealing that it doesn’t work 97% of the time and is only recommended due to practitioner greed...'" Snopes labels the claim as "False." You can read more on their site.

This long-running email claims women should tell all their female friends to insist on a CA-125 blood test every year to look for ovarian cancer. In fact, checking CA-125 levels has not been found...

American Cancer Society guidelines actually recommend a mostly plant-based diet as well as limiting the consumption of processed and red meat.

One of the most widely-spread viral emails we've ever seen has found new life on Facebook. It reprints a poem, called Slow Dance, supposedly written by a terminally ill young girl in New York.


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