There is limited awareness of the link between cancer and some factors known to increase risk, such as alcohol.
There is limited awareness of the link between cancer and some factors known to increase risk, such as alcohol. ©iStockphoto/DavidHills

Hopes new website will dispel myths

SOME three quarters of Australians are confused about cancer prevention.

Many of us mistakenly believe measures like drinking plenty of water (50%), getting enough sleep (47%) and positive thinking (43%) reduces the risk of cancer.

New Cancer Council research, released on Friday, reveals there is also limited awareness of the link between cancer and some factors known to increase risk, such as processed meat (31%), alcohol (47%) and being overweight (53%).

Australians were just as confused about risk, incorrectly thinking cancer is caused by non-carcinogenic factors, with more than half (54%) blaming stress.

In an effort to combat the misconceptions, Cancer Council has launched new website, iheard.com.au, to provide evidence-based answers to questions about cancer.

Cancer Council Australia chief Ian Olver said the survey highlighted misinformation about cancer, much of it sourced from web and social media, where fanciful claims could be made without credible scientific evidence.

Cancer Council scientific advisor and international carcinogens expert Bernard Stewart said people often blamed unknown or unlikely environmental factors for cancer, such as deodorant and food additives, rather than proven carcinogens.

He said at least a third of cancers could be avoided through lifestyle choices.

 

Identifying cancer risks

76% of Australians believe measures like drinking plenty of water (50%), getting enough sleep (47%) and positive thinking (43%).

There is limited awareness of the link between cancer and some factors known to increase risk such as processed meat (31%), alcohol (47%) and being overweight (53%).

Visit iheard.com.au to check the validity of claims made about cancer.


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