Controversial Messages on Cancer


A direct connection between certain lifestyle factors and an increased risk of cancer has already beenestablished. Despite well-documented associations, controversial messages on causes of cancer often appearwithout taking into consideration their impact on the general population. While mainstream coverage of cancerresearch is clearly welcome, consideration must be given to the risk of transmitting provocative messages withserious negative consequences for cancer research and public health. We must avoid becoming a breeding groundfor the misinterpretation of scientific information. Polemical results can stimulate scientific research and progress,but controversial messages encourage confusion and impotence in an increasingly disoriented population. Thecorrect communication of health messages is at least as important as research on risk factors.