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From burnt toast, to sweeteners and mobile phones… the biggest cancer myths debunked

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From burnt toast, to sweeteners and mobile phones... the biggest cancer myths debunked

Claims that eating burnt toast and keeping your phone in your pocket will cause cancer have circulated for years.

But what is the truth?

To help you separate fact from fiction, MailOnline debunks five of the biggest myths surrounding the causes of cancer…

Mobile phones

For decades there has been a rumor that electromagnetic radiation or waves from mobile phones can cause cancer.

But researchers say there is no good evidence that this is the case, even though many fear that keeping the phone close to the body will put them at risk.

Mobile phones work by sending and receiving electromagnetic waves to and from telephone antennas.

While high-energy radiation can cause cancer by damaging DNA, the version emitted by phones is so weak that it does not have this effectsays Cancer Research UK.

The charity adds that although 4G and 5G networks rely on higher frequency radio waves to operate compared to phones made a decade ago, it is still not enough energy to damage DNA.

But, because the technology is still relatively new, scientists continue to monitor research in this field to track any potential long-term effects.

burnt toast

Experts say removing burnt bits from toast won’t save you from cancer.

Burnt toast, charred root vegetables, and baked potatoes contain a chemical called acrylamide, which is found naturally in foods that have been cooked at high temperatures for a long time.

Some studies have linked the substance to cancer.

However, Cancer Research UK says the evidence is not strong enough that baked, broiled, fried, broiled, roasted or roasted foods increase the risk of cancer.

Burnt toast contains a chemical called acrylamide. But it has also been shown to be carcinogenic in animals, at much higher doses than in human foods.

Burnt toast contains a chemical called acrylamide. But it has also been shown to be carcinogenic in animals, at much higher doses than in human foods.

Burnt toast contains a chemical called acrylamide. But it has also been shown to be carcinogenic in animals, at much higher doses than in human foods.

Some studies were unable to accurately measure the amount of acrylamide in people’s diet, says Cancer Research UK.

Additionally, it has only been shown to be carcinogenic in animals, at much higher doses than in human food, according to US health chiefs.

For example, a renowned statistician at the University of Cambridge suggested that someone would only be at risk if they consumed 320 slices of burnt toast each day.

Instead, experts say that what could increase cancer risk is not how food is cooked, but what food is eaten.

For example, bacon is a processed meat and, regardless of how it is cooked, has been linked to an increased chance of developing bowel cancer.

This is because it contains nitrates and nitrites, which are chemicals that keep meat fresher for longer but have been associated with damage to the cells lining the intestine and an increased risk of bowel cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.

However, eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods, such as whole wheat bread, rice and pasta, can help you reduce your risk of cancer.

Stress

It has been noted in studies that some women wonder if stress caused their breast cancer.

But the evidence for this is poor.

A great study A study of more than 100,000 women in the UK in 2016 showed no consistent evidence linking stress to breast cancer.

Another 2013 analysiswhich analyzed 12 studies involving more than 100,000 people who were followed for several years, found no link between stress at work and colorectal, lung, breast or prostate cancers.

Although stress has not been directly linked to cancer, prolonged periods of stress have been linked to high blood pressure and depression, according to the NHS.

Although stress has not been directly linked to cancer, prolonged periods of stress have been linked to high blood pressure and depression, according to the NHS.

Although stress has not been directly linked to cancer, prolonged periods of stress have been linked to high blood pressure and depression, according to the NHS.

However, a separate paper in 2022 suggested there could be a connection between the body’s exposure to the stress hormone cortisol and cancer.

And another study this week suggested that being stressed causes cancers to grow and spread.

Although stress has not been directly linked to the disease, according to the NHS, prolonged periods of stress have been linked to high blood pressure and depression.

It may also be more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as not smoking or drinking, during stressful situations. These habits can lead to an increased risk of cancer, warns Cancer Research UK.

But the agency insists there is “no evidence” to show that “those who are more stressed are more likely to get cancer.”

Artificial sweeteners

Diet soda, gum, and toothpaste, along with hundreds of other products, contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

There is some evidence that aspartame, which has been used in products since the 1980s, can cause cancer.

This led the World Health Organization to classify the sweetener as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in June 2023.

However, experts say people would have to consume it in extremely large quantities (more than a dozen cans a day) for it to have this effect and criticized the UN health agency for causing unnecessary mass panic.

The ingredient is strictly regulated in the UK. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set the acceptable daily intake of aspartame at about 14 cans of diet soft drink for a person weighing about 70 kg.

This means that most people are very unlikely to consume a dangerous amount.

Cancer Research UK agrees that “there is no convincing evidence that artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, cause cancer.”

Drink from a plastic bottle

Plastic water bottles, lunch boxes and food packaging have long been feared to contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is a chemical found in plastic bottles and containers that is believed to leach into foods and drinks and disrupt hormones.

As a result, it has been strongly linked to (but not shown to cause) a variety of health problems, including reproductive health problems, diabetes, and obesity.

one 2015 review American researchers into the carcinogenic properties of BPA recommended that it be classified as a cancer risk for humans.

The chemical called bisphenol A, also known as BPA, found in plastic bottles and containers, is a hormone disruptor and can cause harm by acting like a female hormone. But experts say it has not been proven to cause cancer.

The chemical called bisphenol A, also known as BPA, found in plastic bottles and containers, is a hormone disruptor and can cause harm by acting like a female hormone. But experts say it has not been proven to cause cancer.

The chemical called bisphenol A, also known as BPA, found in plastic bottles and containers, is a hormone disruptor and can cause harm by acting like a female hormone. But experts say it has not been proven to cause cancer.

Although studies have shown that the chemical has carcinogenic effects, these experiments have involved human cells in a laboratory or animals.

This is very different to how people would come into contact with these chemicals in real life, warns Cancer Research UK.

The charity explains that some studies put large amounts of the chemical directly into one type of cell, which would not happen in the body.

Another 2018 study by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which exposed laboratory animals to BPA, found little evidence that the chemical causes cancer.

The Food Standards Agency also rules that the levels of BPA that have been detected so far in food in the UK are not considered harmful.

In the EU, plastics used for baby bottles and toys must be BPA-free and many reusable plastic water bottles and containers are BPA-free.

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