Cancer Causing

17. Plastic Water Bottles

bottled water

The viral rumor that originated in the 2000s declaring plastic water bottles to be a cause of cancer might have scared many bottled water drinkers, but the plastic was never found to cause cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, diethylhexyl asipate, or DEHA (a supposed carcinogen), is not always found in the plastic used to make water bottles, but even so, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says DEHA is not prone to causing cancer. Along with the ACS and EPA, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) does not list DEHA as a carcinogen.

16. Microwaving Plastics

Microwaving Plastics

For years, the fear of reheating food in plastic containers and wraps caused worry, as the belief was that heat released cancer-causing chemicals that would get into the food. Due to the strict regulations enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), plastic food containers are approved and marked as “microwave safe”, meaning the plastic is free of dioxins.

15. Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets

They soften your clothes and eliminate static, but do they cause cancer? Not at all. While unscented sheets are deemed safe, scented versions may contain a toxic chemical. The Federal Trade Commission does not require the identification of individual fragrance components, but should you feel concerned, there are plenty of unscented brands you can purchase.

14. Sugar


Although sugar isn’t cancer causing, research does suggest cancer cells consume more glucose (blood sugar) than normal cells. According to Anton Bilchik, MD, chief of medicine and gastrointestinal research at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, sugar is necessary for the immune system.

13. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners

While some research did find a connection between artificial sweeteners and bladder cancer in laboratory animals, the National Cancer Institute reported that further research resulted in no official findings. Nonetheless, artificial sweeteners can be detrimental to your health, as they are known to cause problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Related: 9 Symptoms That Could Be Warning Women of Cancer

12. Nutella


After news reports stated that Nutella could cause cancer, terrified parents and children everywhere worried that their beloved spread might become banned. However, although Nutella contains palm oil, which when heated above 400 degrees Fahrenheit can become cancerous, Nutella officials said their product never reaches those temperatures during the manufacturing process.

11. Over-Boiling Water

Over Boiling Water

The claim that boiling or re-boiling water for extended amounts of time can lead to high levels of chemical compound formations in water, including carcinogens like arsenic, is not accurate. The reality is that those risks are minimal.

10. E-Cigarettes

E Cigarettes

In a Japanese study conducted some time ago, electronic cigarettes were said to have more carcinogens than regular cigarettes. However, the study was found to be unreliable, and in February 2017 the U.K.’s National Health Service cited a study advising that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco.

Related: 7 Signs of Lung Cancer You Might Be Ignoring

9. Hair Dye

Hair Dye

Studies suggested that constant hair dye exposure led to a high risk of bladder cancer among hairdressers and barbers, but the scientific evidence never reported it to be a probable cause for cancer, especially for those who frequently color their hair.

8. Antiperspirant


At one point, antiperspirant was believed to be linked to breast cancer due to the chemicals typically found in the product, as well as in deodorants. However, the National Cancer Institute made it clear that there is no truth to that statement, as there is no evidence linking the two.

7. Cell Phones

Cell Phones

It is possible that cell phones and cancer have been tied together since the creation of phones. Although these handy devices have been around for some time, and do emit a type of low-frequency energy, they aren’t capable of damaging cells or causing genetic mutations, says the American Cancer Society. Researchers continue to study the potential link between cancer and cell phones and have not found a correlation.

Related: 11 Masked Symptoms of a Brain Tumor You Cannot Ignore

6. X-Rays

X Rays

The amount of radiation from a single x-ray is quite small, says Sailaja Kamaraju, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. And while they are considered a carcinogen, x-rays can detect tumors that may become deadly, and ultimately outweigh the potential risk for cancer.

5. Mammograms


Mammograms are used to help detect breast cancer in women. The procedure is considered an x-ray and involves compression of the breast (often painful), which has led women to believe that breast compression or radiation may cause breast cancer to spread. According to the National Cancer Institute, neither are true. The institute’s experts say, “The benefits of mammography…nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure.”

4. Injury to Breasts

Injury To Breasts

Probably one of the oldest myths passed down from generation to generation is the idea that an injury to the breast can cause cancer. While it is possible that breast injuries may cause benign lumps, known as fat necrosis, they won’t cause cancer.

Related: 7 Often Ignored Signs of Breast Cancer

3. Dental Fillings

Dental Fillings

Although cavities filled years ago are likely to contain mercury, large doses of which are known to affect the brain, it is not considered a carcinogen. The fillings also include silver, tin, and copper, but according to the American Dental Association, the combination of metals are completely safe.

2. Slicing Tumors Causes Spread

Slicing Tumors

In 2005, the American Cancer Society released a survey stating that 41 percent of the participants believed cancer-removing surgery actually caused cancer to spread, and an additional 13 percent weren’t sure. Fortunately, this claim is untrue. Surgeons take special precautions and follow protocols to prevent cancer cells from migrating during surgery, but ultimately cancer replicates itself and metastasizes on its own.

1. Exposure to Air Causes Cancer to Spread


Another incorrect belief regarding cancer is the idea that exposing it to air (by surgery or other methods) can cause growth and spread. “There’s no scientific data supporting that theory,” says Blair Marshall, MD, thoracic surgeon. Dr. Marshall says the theory might have stemmed from situations where cancer patients had surgery and later died of metastatic cancer. “In actuality, if the patient had not undergone any surgery at all, they still would have developed widespread disease,” reports Dr. Marshall.

Related: 7 Deadliest Cancers and How to Prevent Them


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