Home Cancer Care & Awareness Do Microwaves Cause Cancer? Get the Right Answer

Do Microwaves Cause Cancer? Get the Right Answer

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Do microwaves cause cancer? 

This is one of the most commonly asked questions when we talk about the connection between everyday habits and cancer. 

Especially when it comes to food choices. I am sure you must have heard about the cancer-causing foods as well. 

Just like the food choices, the way you prepare your food is also considered important. And microwave exposure is considered one among these. 

Food that has been exposed to microwave radiation is known to cause cancer. Before we talk about this popular myth, let us see what cancer is!

Cancer – Understand the Science Behind!

Do microwaves cause cancer?

Cancer is nothing but the uncontrolled cellular division in a particular location in your body. This happens when your cell cycle gets abnormal and loses the checks on cellular division. This results in causing your body cells to divide uncontrollably which appears as a tumour. 

A cancer tumour can be either localized (benign) or can spread to other regions of the body (malignant). 

The spread of cancer even sets the ground for cancer staging (including other factors as well)!

Cancer and Radiations – What’s the Connection?

Now comes the question: what causes your body cells to divide uncontrollably? 

It’s the change in the information your cell carries in the form of DNA (hereditary material).

Yes, just like your hair length, eye colour and all other information the information regarding the cellular division is also carried in your DNA (we call them mutations). When your DNA gets damaged this changes the information stored about the control of cell division. This results in uncontrolled cellular division.

Among many ways that can cause damage to your cellular division, radiation exposure is considered to be important

For this very reason, it is believed that food exposed to microwave radiation can induce cancer. So, the answer to do microwaves cause cancer is yes. Microwaves, radiation and cancer… The connection sounds quite convincing. 

But do microwaves cause cancer? There is a lot we need to know so let’s dive deeper into this.

Does Eating Microwaved Food Cause Cancer? Let’s Explore!

Though we admire how microwaves have got us covered in a hustling lifestyle.

Be it frozen foods or popcorn, you don’t have to worry about your dinner or late-night snacks. 

One of the greatest inventions and a great help indeed, the microwave is serving the purpose right.

How Do Microwaves Work?

When we talk about the working principle of microwaves, it changes electricity into electromagnetic radiation that acts as a source of heat. This radiation makes the water molecules present in your food vibrate which produces heat. This heat is what eventually heats up your food without changing the actual composition of your food. 

Microwaves use magnetrons for the conversion of electricity into microwaves!

Microwave and Cancer Causation – Answer Lies in the Radiations

Does eating microwaved foods cause cancer? 


Yes, you heard me right. 

Despite using radiation to heat up the foods, eating microwaved foods doesn’t cause cancer. The answer lies in the type of radiation being used.

Dr. Rabia Sohail who is one of the best general physicians in Pakistan says that microwaves use non-ionizing radiation and these radiations are not strong enough to contribute to cancer causation. So, these low-energy radiations are not capable of changing your DNA.

In contrast, the radiations that increase your risk of cancer causation are the x-rays that are quite potent. Prolonged exposure to these radiations can cause damage to DNA resulting in cancer. 

Some of the radiations associated with cancer are high-frequency radiations such as x-rays, UV rays, gamma rays and cosmic rays etc!

Further, microwave manufacturers use guidelines that ensure safety against radiation exposure. According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), there is little or no chance of radiation leakage from the microwave due to safety checks. Moreover, the intensity of radiation is too low to cause damage to human health. 


Carcinogens and Microwaved Foods

Another claim regarding the safety of microwaved foods arises from carcinogen formation as a result of microwave cooking.

The cooking process is known to form carcinogens in foods. These carcinogens formed are linked to several types of cancers such as uterus cancer, ovarian cancer etc. However, we have little or no evidence that microwave heating can result in the formation of these carcinogens. 

Microwave Safety – Bits of Advice!

Here are some of the best advice regarding microwaved food safety to stick to:

  • Use the right kind of containers
  • Close the microwave door properly
  • Covering your food containers properly
  • Stand away from the microwave
  • Not exceed the recommended heating time for different food types

You can consult the best general physicians in Karachi via Healthwire.pk to make informed decisions about your health.

Do Microwaves Cause Cancer – Let’s Settle the Debate

Now when we talk about cancer-causing habits, we know that microwave foods are certainly an exception!

The experts at Family Health Hospital say that reason lies in the low-intensity radiation of microwaves that are used to heat the food. Further, the heating mechanism of microwaves doesn’t support these claims. However, on the safer side, one should be mindful to not eat microwaved food excessively. Other than this, make sure to use microwave-friendly utensils.

One can also go for other cooking methods such as steaming, blanching, grilling and air frying to prepare delicious meals while keeping the essential food nutrients intact. 

Despite the fact that microwave cooking is one preferable option, still, be mindful that excess of everything is bad and microwave cooking is no option. 

So, make wise food choices, choose the right cooking method and pave your path to a cancer-free lifestyle. And don’t forget to kick off the bad habits and get yourself moving!

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