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Causes of Cancer – Yes or No?

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about what behaviours and substances are likely causes of cancer, in one of its many manifestations.

This quiz lists a number of possible causes – all of them have been put forward as such at one time or another. Experts in the field have views as to whether or not these are likely or not to be carcinogenic – i.e. liable to lead to cancer. Because their views are based on solid science, they should be given much more attention than those of non-experts.

Please note that there is not much 100% certainty in this field. That is why the most that one can say is that a suggested cause is likely or not to be real. In this quiz, a Yes answer implies that the general scientific consensus is that it is a genuine cause and should therefore be avoided or treated with caution, and a No answer implies that it is not likely to be a cause – but this does not mean that it could not become so in some extreme circumstances.

We are talking here about balances of probabilities. 

My source for this information is an article in a recent edition of New Scientist.

  • Tobacco

    • Yes
    • No
  • Power lines

    • Yes
    • No
  • Fluoride in drinking water

    • Yes
    • No
  • Mobile phones / cellphones

    • Yes
    • No
  • Coffee

    • Yes
    • No
  • Processed red meat

    • Yes
    • No
  • Sunburn

    • Yes
    • No
  • Drinking from plastic bottles

    • Yes
    • No
  • Artificial sweeteners

    • Yes
    • No
  • Obesity

    • Yes
    • No
  • Stress

    • Yes
    • No
  • Hepatitis B and C

    • Yes
    • No
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)

    • Yes
    • No
  • Antiperspirants

    • Yes
    • No
  • Genetically modified food

    • Yes
    • No
  • Household cleaning products

    • Yes
    • No

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