Cancer Myths And Lack Of Facts About Obesity
Written by Jamie Stowe| Friday, 30 September 2011| There is 1 comment
Despite millions of pounds being spent on public health campaigns to warn UK citizens about the clear and proven link between obesity and cancer many people still do not associate the two conditions with each other. A new study done in the UK shows that many people also still do not know that a lack of exercise can also play a part in increasing the likelihood of suffering from cancer.
The lead researcher of the study, Professor Paul Symonds from the University of Leicester explained that for his study they looked at almost 280 cancer patients being treated at the Leicestershire Cancer Centre. The study was designed to compare the difference between what British South Asian patients and Caucasian patients believed about the causes of cancer.
The results showed that both groups of cancer patients tended to put too much emphasis on pollution, injury and stress as being the main causes of cancer and not enough emphasis on eating unhealthily, not exercising and suffering from obesity. Other cancer myths which the researchers came across in both groups were that surgery and cancer treatment could make cancer spread to other parts of the body. In fact one patient in five repeated this myth.
The researchers said that almost 30 percent of patients said that alternative treatments like acupuncture or herbal remedies could be equally effective as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. In fact this fallacy tended to be repeated more by the South Asian patients than the Caucasian patients. The good news is that 84 percent knew that smoking could cause cancer and this has to be due to continued public health campaigns.
The UK government should invest tens of millions of pounds in public health campaigns warning of the link between cancer and obesity. People are genuinely terrified of getting cancer but obesity does not scare them so much. It's no good going on about the link between heart disease and obesity because that doesn't seem to stop people eating unhealthy but a concerted campaign to show the clear statistical link between obesity and cancer could cause big drops in the numbers of obese people and cancer patients.