So, cellphones are a cancer risk. Have you gotten rid of yours? I didn’t think so! Phones have been linked to cancer for years. In 1992 (nearly 20 years ago!), I read a story on the radio about cordless phones being a risk. I think the real irony here is that many people saw last week’s news item ON THEIR CELLPHONE! Now, I’m not a doctor. But, I say don’t worry about your cellphone! There are a LOT of even bigger cancer risks in our everyday lives.
- Coffee: There’s hot debate brewing about the health effects of coffee, since it lifts risk for some cancers and cuts risk for others. A 1991 IARC report linked drinking coffee to increased risk for bladder cancer, while a study released in May found that men who consumed six or more cups daily were 60 percent less likely to develop fatal prostate cancer. Quaffing two or more cups a day raises lung cancer risk by 14 percent, according to a 2010 review. Classification: Probable carcinogen.
- Talcum powder: Widely used to keep skin dry and prevent rashes, talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer if applied to the female genitals. Particles from sanitary napkins, diaphragms, condoms and talcum power applications could travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. An analysis of data from 16 studies found a 30 percent rise in ovarian cancer risk among talcum users. A safe alternative is cornstarch powder, which is not linked to cancer. Classification: Possible carcinogen.
- Alcohol: Nearly 10 percent of cancers in men—and 3 percent in women—are sparked by drinking too much alcohol, German researchers reported in April. They calculate that in the eight European countries studied, about 54,500 cases of alcohol-related cancer, such as cancers of the upper digestive tract, colon, liver and breast (in women), would have been prevented in 2008 if women limited themselves to no more than one alcoholic drink a day and men to two drinks. Classification: Known carcinogen.
- Tanning beds: There’s no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Some tanning beds emit 10 to 15 times more UV radiation than the midday sun. A 2010 study found that young people who have ever used a tanning bed are 1.41 times more likely to get melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and those who have used them 10 or more times have double the risk. Melanoma rates in young women have tripled over the past 30 years, largely due to use of tanning beds. Classification: Known carcinogen.
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