Cancer Week 2018 – Myths Warning From Cancer Research Prof. Robert O’Connor

Cancer Week Ireland 2018 takes place from Monday September 24th to Sunday September 30th.

With cancer rates rising, Head of Irish Cancer Research, Professor Robert O’Connor, has debunked some of the myths around cancer, latter which is one of the main aims of the Irish Cancer Society as it kicks off “Cancer Week 2018”, today.

Professor O’Connor, (whose parents, Kathleen & Ernest O’Connor, reside here in Templetuohy, Co. Tipperary),  points out that the internet is littered with myths about ‘what does’ and ‘does not’ cause cancer; be it the fluoride in our water to our use of mobile phones; neither of which causes cancer.  He points out that a large amount of misinformation comes into the mainstream via unregulated ‘nutritionists’ and so called ‘celebrities’, latter who endorse so-called ‘Superfoods’ or particular fad diets, as being an aid to cancer treatment.

“In reality, strict dietary regimes can do real damage to a cancer patient’s ability to fight their disease”, stated Professor O’ Connor, “with various so-called cancer ‘cures’ being touted online and on social media; with none of these having any evidence base, and are often produced in an unregulated manner, meaning we may not know what is actually contained in them.”

How Do These Myths Arise?
“The challenge is that health misinformation has become big business. A lot of media will spread various information that gets put out, be it research reports or whatever, and unfortunately, it can get very confusing for the average cancer patient. People can mislead individuals with various indications of particular diets they think may cure cancer or even prevent cancer. It can be very challenging for people who are vulnerable”, Professor O’Connor stated.

The Irish Cancer Society is urging people to get their information from reliable sources, such as its Cancer Nurseline (Tel: 1800 200 700); its 13 Daffodil Centres; and other fully qualified dieticians and oncologists.

“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their doctor will outline the necessary medical treatments available to them, but we know most patients, understandably, will seek further information, often obtained online and through social media. Unfortunately, most of this information does not come from qualified professionals and may in fact do more harm than good. When something is wrong, we need to get proper support and guidance from professionals and accurate evidence-based supports”, Professor O’Connor warned.


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