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MONDAY, May 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many people are clueless about what can actually cause cancer, a new study finds.
Not stress, microwave ovens or food additives, British experts say.
But a survey of more than 1,300 people in England found many folks believe otherwise.
"It's worrying to see so many people endorse risk factors for which there is no convincing evidence," said study author Samuel Smith, of the University of Leeds.
More than a third wrongly believed that electromagnetic frequencies and eating genetically modified food were cancer risk factors.
People who had mistaken beliefs about the causes of cancer were not more likely to have risky lifestyle habits. But those who knew more about proven causes of cancer were less likely to smoke, according to the study.
It could be related to changes "to how we access news and information through the internet and social media," he speculated.
"It's vital to improve public education about the causes of cancer if we want to help people make informed decisions about their lives and ensure they aren't worrying unnecessarily," Smith added.
Cancer Research UK funded the study. The findings were published recently in the European Journal of Cancer.
-- Robert Preidt
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