Cancer controversies - mobile phones, power lines, stress and more
Science has shown that the habits we adopt affect our risk of getting cancer. These habits include smoking, drinking alcohol, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese and excessive sun exposure.
But people are often more concerned about other environmental factors from mobile phones and power lines, to stress and deodorants. This section will tell you more about these topics.
Read about the evidence in specific areas:
A sense of perspective
The evidence linking these things to cancer varies greatly. For example, there is strong evidence that deodorants do not cause cancer but there is greater debate over the potential risks of power lines.
It is unlikely that any of these will turn out to be major cancer risk factors. Even if any links are eventually proven, the effects are likely to be small. For example, some experts believe that power lines would only cause about two cases of childhood leukaemia each year, if any. In contrast, smoking causes more than 60,000 cancer cases a year in the UK.
Stories about these risk factors are reported widely in the media. Our ‘Who do we believe?’ section contains more information on interpreting media stories on cancer, and how you can separate fact from fiction for yourself.
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team