There is definitely no shortage of alarmist news stories about the alleged increased risk of cancer from exposure to trace amounts of pesticides or chemicals from food, water and cosmetics, among other things that one may come into contact in daily life. Well, according to Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and an ACSH advisor, in his op-ed in Forbes, this constant drumbeat of what invariably turn out to be minuscule or non-existent threats confuses many people, and diverts attention from what are the major known, avoidable causes of cancer and what we can do to reduce our chances of developing cancer.
What can we do? Well, for one, don t smoke. And if you do smoke, quit. Don t consume excessive amounts of alcohol and avoid prolonged, unprotected exposure to the sun. Dr. Kabat also discusses benefits of maintaining a physically active lifestyle, as well as consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables similar to the Mediterranean diet. And of course, it is imperative for children to get the HPV vaccine. He highlights the official recommendation that preteen boys as well as girls be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 years as it is now quite clear that HPV infection is linked to several different types of cancer, albeit years after initial exposure.
Furthermore, Dr. Kabat emphasizes the fact that although some of these recommendations are more firmly established than others ¦none of them has a downside in terms of harmful effects, and may also help to prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. In the fight against cancer, what it comes down to is a need for clear, solid information about what we can do to reduce our risk of developing cancer, relying on well-established findings that apply to the general population.
So basically, don t listen to the alarmist hype. Read the full op-ed here.