• Madeleine Cowey

Breaking News! Broccoli gives you cancer!


Things that might give you cancer according to (often unevidenced) media and (often uneducated) people:

-burnt food

-cold water

-microwaves

-frozen food

-sugar

-eggs

-underwired bras

-plastic bottles

-mobile phones

-sex

-tinned food

-too much sun

-not enough sun

-radiation

-alcohol, smoking etc etc.

The list goes on and on and on.

Sure, some of these may increase your risk of cancer, some certainly more than others (*cough* smoking). According to Cancer research smoking causes 15% of cancer cases and stands as the biggest preventable cause; obesity causes 6% of cases. Obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer. To me, that puts into perspective in fact how unpreventable cancer is.

62% of cases of cancer are unpreventable.

That was a lot of statistics, but my point is that cancer still has a widely unknown cause, and each case is very individual. Most types are unpreventable. No matter how much turmeric you consume, how much you exercise, whether you are a vegan who has never smoked or drank - you, yes you, can still contract cancer. It's a painful truth but a truth nonetheless.

I've been stirred on to write this post after numerous comments (from people unaware of my own cancer diagnosis) about what things may cause cancer. People scared that if they put their phone in their bra they'll get breast cancer, that won't eat eggs for fear of cancer, telling me that if I microwave my frozen broccoli I will get cancer. Microwaves just flipping killed some of my cancer - and now it's causing it?!

I texted my parents, who apologised profusely for feeding me frozen vegetables my whole life and being the cause for my sarcoma. I'm yet to forgive them.

Jokes aside, the comments get to me. Am I to blame for my own cancer? Have my life choices brought me to this? Also, how can people be so insensitive?? (Normally the people who make the comments don't know about my situation but that doesn't make my point less valid.)

Thinking like this however, is ridiculous, I'm only 21 for god's sake!! We don't know what causes Sarcoma and may never know. I refuse to listen to people who insinuate that maybe all those over-barbecued sausages I've eaten caused this disease. I also realise that people's fear of cancer and lack of real understanding is what brings them to joke about it.

I'm not trying to encourage you to smoke, drink, get sunburned, eat lots of junk food and whatever else, because too much of these can damage your general physical and mental health and well being. I just want to say that if we lived by all of the Daily Mail headlines (not only daily mail though - I found hundreds of different 'things that cause cancer' all over the internet) we read about what causes cancer, then we would be living in continual fear. Fear mongering is never cool. Life is too short.

So, if you are happy enough to enjoy a glass of wine of an evening, then please don't fear cooking your veg in a microwave. I can tell you that neither will give you cancer (god forbid).

Finally, next time you want to say something like 'broccoli causes cancer' without any real evidence, think twice, you don't know what someone has been through or is going through.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Until next time,

M x

#cancer #cancermyths #myths #smoking #sarcoma #cancerprevention #misconception

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