Monday, 23 January 2017

Will Your Bra Give You Cancer?

by Floss Willcocks



In the past few months there has been an increasing number of news stories targeting health issues. Most health advice from trusted medical professionals can be argued as extremely important information for the benefit of our lifestyle, such as taking regular exercise, brushing your teeth and eating a balanced diet. We observe these recommendations with a pinch of salt (quite literally sometimes). Everyone treats themselves to a greasy Chinese takeaway once in awhile, despite knowing that it's filled with salt, sugar, fat and additives, all of which our doctor wouldn't recommend. 

The government suggest an hour of vigorous exercise every day, but what percentage of us really manage to get up and get sweaty every day of the working week? We aren't afraid to take some risks to our health every now and then, despite what the experts have been telling us for years. The biggest threat we are more than aware of but choosing to ignore is antibiotic mutation. It would only take one random switch in the genetic code of a bacterium to spread a killer antibiotic-resistant disease, yet doctors are under increasing pressure from patients to prescribe them for every common cold around. Even worse are the industrial farms where animals are being pumped full of them to prevent risk of losing profit.

However, some recent health advice has got the world panicking. Articles which are being published in the news all over the world confirm the idea that we have very little fear of the threat of a disastrous pandemic or an obese population. We are all scared instead of that one big killer - cancer.

Here is a list of several everyday foods and products which have recently been proved to “give you cancer”.

RED AND PROCESSED MEAT
Sausages, bacon, burgers, ham, beef, steak, etc
Researchers are still trying to pin down exactly how red and processed meat cause cells to become cancerous. There are links to bowel cancer, but the fact is that 61/1000 UK residents will develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives anyway. By avoiding these meats you will lower your chance of developing it by only 0.4%.

OVERCOOKED STARCHY FOODS
Crispy roast potatoes and burnt toast is the most recently discovered “culprit”. While scientists have identified the acrylamide in overcooked foods to be linked vaguely to cancer development in mice, they haven’t established that it is definitely a carcinogen in humans when consumed at the levels typically found in cooked food. Still, the media couldn't resist issuing new health warnings; to “ditch the smoky barbecue this summer”, and “aim for a golden yellow” colour on all cooked starchy foods.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
OK, there's no hiding the fact that these aren't exactly great for your health. You can't argue that your body is unaffected when your stomach actually has to force it back out of you in the toilet of the nightclub, but cancer isn't the biggest concern of yours if you're a heavy drinker. The bad news is you’re going to get liver disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, diabetes, weight-gain, reduced fertility and (more than likely) a lifelong addiction as well. Alcohol is a difficult one, because we all like a drink every now and then, and when we do we ignore all these health warnings because we like it. It's knowing our limits, that's the choice we all have to make.

On top of these, here are a few things which the Daily Mail have claimed to increase your chances of developing cancer...

AIR TRAVEL
ASPIRIN
BABY FOOD
BEING A MAN
BEING A WOMAN
LIVING IN THE SOUTH
WEARING BELTS
ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING
BEING LEFT-HANDED
WEARING BRAS
BREAST IMPLANTS
TOO MUCH BROCCOLI
BUBBLE BATH
CATS
HAVING BABIES
CANDLE-LIT DINNERS
CRAYONS
FLIP FLOPS
FALSE NAILS
THE CONTRACEPTIVE PILL
KINDER CHOCOLATE BARS
HAVING LONG FINGERS
LIP STICK
PEANUT BUTTER
FACEBOOK
HAVING A LARGE HEAD
HAVING SEX
SKIING
TALCUM POWDER
WORCESTER SAUCE

I believe that these claims are overblown and exaggerated. I wouldn't be surprised that if you analysed anything enough, you would find some vague link with cancer causation, and from the media’s point of view, that's enough to make a good headline. Of course some substances (tobacco, alcohol, UV exposure) are far more likely to cause cancer than others, and moderation of these is going to highly increase your chances of living a bit longer, but if we begin living our lives terrified of eating a BLT, is it really a life worth living?

The truth of the matter is that life gives you cancer. I want to live a fulfilled and happy life, which means eating as many crispy roast potatoes as I want.

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