Monday, May 25, 2009

Are You Sceptical about What Causes or Prevents Cancer

According to the BBC News, people in the UK are "deeply sceptical about scientific claims for what causes or prevents cancer." Hmm, let's see exactly what this poll tried to uncover.

Here's the first snippet: "The YouGov survey of 2,400 people for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found more than half thought scientists were always changing their minds."

I admit that we as medical scientists and researchers have made some mistakes in the past. At one time, we physicians made claims about the healthy effects of cigarette smoking. Either we were all being bribed by the tobacco industry or we really had an erroneous knowledge of the carcinogenic effects of smoking. Now, we all know that smoking causes lung cancer. The scientific evidence is very compelling and I doubt that anyone would argue that point.

How about red meat and colon cancer? That seems to be another point where some scientists are going back and forth (regarding whether we have enough evidence to substantiate that eating red meat does or does not increase the risk of colon cancer).

Here's another snippet from the article: "The WCRF says that most scientists agree about the steps people can take to reduce their risk of cancer - and that this advice has largely stayed the same for the last 10 years." The basics have not changed. We should eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. I don't think any scientist will argue that the evidence has changed on these aspects of healthy living.

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