The internet is rife with snake-oil alarmists who spew out unsubstantiated claims that prey on people's fears and ignorance. Everything causes cancer! Everything makes you sick! From Joe Mercola to the Food Babe and a long list of others, there is no end to their sly, smooth-talking quackery and fake science. Most of the main con artists are:
Vani Hari (The Food Babe)
Mike Adams (Natural News)
More often than not, there is a shop on their web site that sells the alleged "cure" to the nonexistent malady. Below are clear, concise and scientifically backed overviews of 9 prevalent alleged causes of cancer:
--microwavable plastic containers
--plastic water bottles
LIE: A very acidic diet increases cancer risk
"Given that cancer cells grow well in an acidic environment, many people have questioned whether a diet high in acidic foods can increase your risk of cancer.
"What the science tells us: In chemistry, the pH scale is a measure for how acidic or basic a solution is. The pH scale ranges from 0-14: 7 is neutral, less than 7 is acidic and greater than 7 is basic.
"Epidemiological Evidence: There are no human epidemiological studies that have studied the relationship between pH and cancer. There is no laboratory evidence that acidic pH increases risk for cancer. While it is true that cancer cells grow well in an acidic environment, your body’s pH levels are not determined by the food you eat. Factors that determine your body’s pH include fluid loss, electrolyte levels, and organ function."
LIE: Bug spray with DEET causes cancer
"What science tells us: Much of the concern about insect repellents is with one of its most common ingredients: N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, known commonly as DEET. DEET gives bug spray its strong chemical smell, which is used to repel biting insects, such as mosquitos, ticks, and fleas.
"Epidemiological Evidence: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that DEET is not a human carcinogen. With high exposure levels, such as in a chemical spill, there may be damage to the central nervous system. Additional evidence about cancer risk is unclear.
"Some animal studies have reported an increased cancer risk when exposed to DEET. However, several larger studies with long follow up have been conducted on animals which did not show an increase in tumors when exposed to bug spray with DEET."
LIE: Wearing bras can cause breast cancer
"Epidemiological Evidence: There has been concern that bra wearing changes how lymph nodes remove waste and toxins from the breast. However, there is no epidemiological evidence to support this claim.
"The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle interviewed over 1,000 women with the most common types of breast cancer and 500 randomly selected women without breast cancer. The investigators found no difference between those who did wear a bra and those who did not. An earlier Harvard School of Public Health study also found no association when they asked 15,630 women about their bra usage and breast cancer history. These two studies suggest that there is no association between bra use and breast cancer. There is no laboratory evidence that links bras to cancer risk."
LIE: Cell phone use causes cancer
"Phones emit RF (Radiofrequency) waves, which are a form of non-ionizing radiation. This means that they do not have enough energy to directly damage DNA inside cells and cause cancer. The closer the phone is held to the body, the greater the expected exposure to RF waves. Many other factors affect the amount of energy a person is exposed to, such as:
--Amount of time a person is on the phone and the nearness of the cell phone to the user’s body (e.g., head).
--Distance and path to the nearest cell tower: the farther the distance from the nearest cell tower, the more energy is required to maintain the signal
--Amount of cell traffic in the area at a time: the more traffic, the more energy is required to maintain the signal
--Model of phone being used
"Epidemiological Evidence: Many studies have evaluated whether there is a link between cell phone usage and cancer, however, the results are not conclusive. Most international organizations deem cell phone usage to be at most only a potential risk to cancer and at the least, insufficient evidence to comment. Currently, there is no laboratory evidence linking cell phone use to increase risk in cancer."
LIE: Standing close to a microwave while it’s in use causes cancer
"Microwaves do not emit enough radiofrequency radiation to be harmful to humans. Microwave ovens are designed so that the microwave radiation is contained within the oven itself. The oven only creates microwaves when the door is shut, and the oven is turned on.
"Epidemiological Evidence: When microwave ovens are in good condition and are used according to instructions, there is no evidence that they pose a health risk to people. There are very limited animal or laboratory studies that look into the relationship between microwaves and cancer."
LIE: Eating food out of microwaved plastic increases cancer risk
"Freezing tends to work against the release of chemicals. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated, 'Chemicals do not diffuse as readily in cold temperatures, which would limit the chemical release'. This means that freezing any type of plastic container poses no cancer risks.
"Diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA) is found in some plastics and may be released when the container is heated. It is possible that substances used in the manufacturing process of plastics, such as DEHA, may leak into food during the heating process. But the FDA imposes strict regulations on plastic containers labeled as 'microwave safe'. The Environmental Protection Agency has said that DEHA 'cannot reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer; immunotoxicity; gene mutations; liver, kidney, reproductive or developmental toxicity; or other serious or irreversible chronic health effects'."
Lie: Plastic water bottles cause cancer
"There has been concern of cancer risks from potential exposure to diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), or bisphenol A (BPA) that may be found in plastic water bottles.
"The American Cancer Society has stated that viral messages warning against the use of plastic water bottles were not based on peer-reviewed research. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency stated that DEHA 'cannot reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer; immunotoxicity; gene mutations; liver, kidney, reproductive or developmental toxicity; or other serious or irreversible chronic health effects'.
"Epidemiological Evidence: According to the Cancer Research Center in the UK, there have been several studies stating that the chemicals found in plastic are safe to drink since the levels of exposure are very low (Cancer Research UK).
"Researchers examined 10 common brands of bottled water stored under different conditions. They concluded that temperature and sunlight exposure do play a role in degradation of phthalates over time, with freezing temperatures containing higher levels of DEHP. However, DEHP levels in the samples (between 0.296 and 1.778 mg/kg/day) were far below the EPA’s maximum safe dose of 20 mg/kg/day (Al-Saleh et al.). BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make plastic since the 1960s. These plastics are frequently used to make containers that store food and beverages.
"Based on animal studies, BPA exposure at high doses (more than 100 times the level designated safe by the FDA) is likely to cause negative health effects in the kidney and the liver. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that BPA is safe at the very low levels that may result from water bottle use. This is based on a review of hundreds of studies (many of which test even heating the plastic for hours at a time), but the FDA continues to monitor this research."
LIE: Bacteria inside masks and oxygen deficiency from masks causes lung cancer
"There is a vast amount of evidence showing that long-term mask-wearing has no effect on cancer risk. The first study to make this false accusation about masks has been discredited by many other studies. The American Lung Association also states that there is no shred of truth to the statement.
"Epidemiological Evidence: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also responded, stating that mask-wearing does not pose any additional health risks and is essential to protect individuals from COVID-19. Wearing a facial covering helps protect others when you cough, sneeze, or talk and spray viral droplets into the air. Many people are not aware they have become infected and unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others. As a result, wearing a mask is important to lessen the spread of disease. There is no evidence from epidemiological studies that conclude that mask wearing is associated with cancer."
LIE: Aspartame causes cancer
"With rising competition to make food sweet and appealing, as well as lower in calories, many companies switched from normal sucrose (table sugar) to sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is similar to sugar, but it is sweeter than sugar, and can be found in different foods and beverages.
"Epidemiological Evidence: Many studies have investigated whether or not artificial sweeteners and Aspartame have caused cancer, but no connection between cancer risk and Aspartame consumption has been found. There is no laboratory evidence that aspartame consumption leads to an increase in cancer risk."
Cancer Factfinder https://cancerfactfinder.org/search-the-factfinder/
Fact Check Explorer Search fact checks about a topic or person https://toolbox.google.com/factcheck/explorer
How to factcheck https://cancerfactfinder.org/how-to-factcheck/
Links to reliable sources of online cancer information https://cancerfactfinder.org/resources/
Good News from the 2023 Cancer Statistics Report https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/01/good-news-from-2023-cancer-statistics.html
The Facts on Cancer Survivorship: What the Quacks Don’t Want You to Know http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/02/good-news-on-cancer-survivorship.html
9 Basic Reasons Why It Is So Hard to Cure Cancer https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2021/09/9-basic-reasons-why-it-is-so-hard-to_18.html
How To Think Correctly When Receiving a Troubling Diagnosis https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2020/04/how-to-think-correctly-when-receiving.html
The Uncomfortable Truth & Harsh Reality of UNCERTAINTY in Medicine https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2021/09/the-uncomfortable-truth-harsh-reality.html
17 Concise Reasons Why Natural News Is a Fraud http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/07/17-concise-reasons-why-natural-news-is.html
Naturopaths and Cancer: Deadly Deception and Fake Science http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2018/07/naturopaths-and-cancer-deadly-deception.html
13 Concise Reasons Why Mercola Is a Fraud http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/01/13-concise-reasons-why-mercola-is-fraud_27.html
Food Babe Exposed for Lies About the Herbicide Glyphosate https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/05/food-babe-exposed-for-her-lies-about.html
Cancer Quackery Playbook: 9 Devious Methods https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2020/06/cancer-quackery-playbook-9-devious.html
21st Century Snake-Oil: Stem Cell Clinics Preying on the Desperate https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2018/11/21st-century-snake-oil-stem-cell.html
Consumer Health: 5 Simple Criteria to Avoid Getting Duped https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/06/consumer-health-5-simple-criteria-to.html
14 Simple Ways to Evaluate Potential Health Misinformation https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2023/04/14-simple-ways-to-evaluate-potential.html
17 Concise Health and Wellness Fallacies Every Consumer Should Know https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/10/17-concise-health-and-wellness.html
Fake Scientists, Fake Degrees & Snake-Oil "Doctors" https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/11/fake-scientists-fake-degrees-snake-oil.html
9 Basic Ways Shameless Health Gurus Dupe Their Followers http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2018/02/9-basic-ways-shameless-health-gurus.html
It’s Complicated! How Apathy Leads to Risky Medical Decisions http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/02/its-complicated-how-apathy-leads-to.html
Fallacy 101: Cherry-Picking Info to Support Pre-Held Beliefs https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/06/fallacy-101-cherry-picking-info-to.html
Prove It! 7 Simple & Basic Rules for Evaluating EVIDENCE! https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/04/prove-it-7-simple-basic-rules-for.html
Think On Your Feet: How to Avoid Being Duped & Fall for Lie After Lie https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2022/03/think-on-your-feet-how-to-avoid-being.html
How To Think Like a Scientist https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2021/03/how-to-think-like-scientist.html
30 Prying and Probing Questions to Bolster Critical Thinking http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/10/30-prying-and-probing-questions-to.html
Pseudo-Health & Snake-Oil: 14 Examples of Faulty Thinking http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/06/pseudo-health-snake-oil-14-concise_22.html
9 Devious Ways Alternative Medicine “Doctors” Deceive Their Patients http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2015/01/9-reasons-why-some-alternative-medicine.html
How To Avoid Bad Medical Advice: A Basic Guideline http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/05/how-to-avoid-bad-medical-advice-basic.html