Can Soda and Fruit Juice Cause Cancer?

The short answer from an oncologist
A woman wearing a red sweatshirt and drinking from a bottle of orange juice

Q: Can soda and fruit juice cause cancer?

A: As the weather heats up, there’s nothing more refreshing than an ice cold glass of soda or juice, right? Maybe. A new study has linked drinking just 100 ml of a sugary drink — about a third of a can of soda — to an 18% increase in overall cancer risk and a 22% increase in breast cancer risk.

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It’s not uncommon that we’ll see people in clinic who are gaining weight and when we ask them about their diets, they are drinking lots of juice — and therefore sugar. However, I’m critical of this study because after observing the 100,000 individuals for 9 years, only 2,000 people developed cancer over that period. To put that into perspective, that’s only 2% of the people participating.

There are always new studies being released that claim something causes cancer, or it doesn’t. It’s hard to determine what reality is and what’s not. The best way to minimize the risk of cancer is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay active.

— Oncologist Dale Shepard, MD, PhD

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