Does the environment increase our cancer risk? If so, how much?

February 2, 2015 | by Valerie Zapanta

Does our environment increase our risk of cancer? What about plastic bottles, radiation, chemicals, soy products ...? Do they cause cancer?

With so many cancer fears, rumors and downright urban legends circulating among our friends and colleagues, not to mention in the media and blogosphere, why not ask the experts? They can debunk cancer myths while sharing cancer facts that matter such as risk factors, prevention and the research underway at City of Hope.

Join us Feb. 19 in Corona, California,  for Ask the Experts "Cancer Urban Legends: The Environment" and hear from physician and research experts as they discuss cancer and the environment, explaining the underlying facts of how the environment can affect our health.

Moderator Linda H. Malkas, Ph.D., deputy director of basic research at City of Hope and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology will lead the discussion. The featured speakers are: Misagh Karimi, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Department of Hematologic Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope | Corona; James Lacey, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Population Sciences; Paul Mandelin, D.O., assistant clinical professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at City of Hope | Corona; and Vijay Trisal, M.D., medical director of City of Hope's community practices and an associate clinical professor of surgical oncology.

Here, Mandelin and Karimi, share some common misconceptions they hear from patients — and what they advise those patients.

Paul Mandelin, D.O.:


· After radiation therapy, I will be dangerous to others. · Radiation therapy is painful and will burn me. · Radiation is bad for me, and I get too much radiation already from cell phones, TVs, etc.

His advice:

“Reading cancer information on the Web can sometimes be misleading. Trust reputable sites. It is important to understand that multiple factors can play a role when determining a patient’s treatment and outcomes.”

Misagh Karimi, M.D.:


· Acidic diets cause cancer and alkaline foods reduce the chance of cancer. · If you have no family history of cancer, you won't get cancer. · Nonsmokers don’t get lung cancer.

His advice:

“When researching cancer information online, my advice is to research the websites first before reading and believing in what they say. Authenticity of websites makes a difference.”


To find out what's real, what's not and what just might be a problem, watch the Feb. 19 live stream or R.S.V.P. to attend.

Have a question for our panel? Let us know in the comments.

*** Seats are limited, so reserve your seat today by signing up now for the Feb. 19 program in Corona. The program will be held at the Corona Historic Civic Center Theatre, 815 W. 6th St., Corona. You can also watch the program live on our YouTube channel.

(There will NOT be an event at City of Hope in Duarte on this date.)

To find out more information about future events, check the Ask the Experts calendar regularly.

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