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Cancer not just 'bad luck', British teeth 'no worse than American' and Christmas toy cancer warning

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Scientists have found that 90% of cancers can be attributed to environmental or lifestyle factors, contrary to previous findings suggesting two-thirds of cases are simply down to ‘bad luck’ as a result of spontaneous genetic mutations, reports the BBC.

The researchers said external factors like smoking, sun exposure and air pollution are the major players, even though genetics play a part in many cases.

Lead author of the study Dr Yusuf Hannun, director of Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York, likened the risks to Russian roulette, where a person’s intrinsic risk equates to one bullet and ‘a smoker adds two or three more bullets to the revolver’.

He said: ‘There is still an element of luck as not every smoker gets cancer, but they have stacked the odds against them.’

Brits’ teeth are no worse than Americans’ teeth, according to a report in The Guardian that the paper says ‘squashes the myth of terrible dentistry’ in the UK.

The study found Americans have more missing teeth than English people – and worse oral health if they are poor.

Lastly, parents have been warned in the run-up to Christmas to avoid counterfeit toys linked to cancer and infertility toxins, The Independent reports.

The plastic toys – including ‘Frozen’ dolls, Maleficent figurines, swimming goggles and fancy dress items – contain up to 18 times the recommended maximum levels of phthalates, putting children and babies at risk if they chew on them.

 

 

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