"Whereas we know many of the causes of diseases such as heart disease, we know very little about the causes of cancer," said Dr. Douglas Faller, director of the Cancer Center at Boston University School of Medicine.
"We cannot tell patients why they developed cancer, so myths arise, as it is human nature to want to have some reason why. If no reason is forthcoming from the doctor, patients will seize upon a myth, as unlikely as that myth may actually be."
In the end, primary care providers can learn something from the myths themselves as they attempt to pass more correct information on to the public, according to study author Stein.
"We really want to encourage people to seek out accurate and reliable information about their health. They need to know what the risk factors are, and what they are not."