Melbourne, Feb 4 : People can now breathe a sigh of relief for a new report designed to combat urban myths has found that mobile phones, coffee and deodorants are not likely to cause cancer.
The report was compiled by Australian cancer specialist Professor Brendan Stewart at the University of New South Wales and has been published in the academic journal Mutation Research Reviews.
Titled "Banding carcinogenic risks in developed countries: A procedural basis for qualitative assessment", the article looked at all available research not only to determine which chemicals or activities were most likely to cause the dreaded disease, but also to find out which are the greatest risk to people.
Based on his findings, Professor Stewart said that coffee, artificial sweeteners, deodorants, dental fillings and breast implants were extremely unlikely to cause the disease.
However, those most likely to cause cancer are smoking, drinking alcohol and deliberate exposure to sunlight.
"In terms of most deaths caused and the potential to save the most lives, cigarettes are number one," News.com.au quoted Prof Stewart, as saying.
"Cigarettes are the only consumer product which are lethal when used in accordance with the manufacturer's intention. In terms of proven risk, tobacco smoking and asbestos are equal in terms of the nature of the evidence; but in terms of numbers of people dying, tobacco is far worse."
Also likely to cause the disease are air pollution, solarium tanning, smoking marijuana and some chemicals in processed meats.
He also said that the media reports were leaving people confused and alarmed unnecessarily.
"People are incredibly confused. When they read stories in the media about different studies in isolation it is difficult for them to know how much concern they should attach to it," he said.
"I found a way of ordering the evidence in terms of carcinogenicity and the evidence of the circumstances of exposure. It is important to ensure that attention given to proven means of preventing cancer is not reduced by unnecessary public concern about risks that may have no impact at all."