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A Guest Blog re Nutrition

Posted 6/3/2014

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  Nutrition and diet and weight are topics of great interest to all of us. We have been very fortunate to have Lauren Fey, RD join our staff in Hematology/Oncology. She is available to meet with any of our oncology patients and has been very helpful to a number of women whom I know. I invited her to write a guest blog for this site, and she sent me this terrific entry:

Social Media Challenges: finding reliable information regarding nutrition and cancer on the internet

There is no doubt that that social media has changed the way many of us send and receive news- about personal life events, world news, and even our own health. I think in many ways we feel that all of these avenues for sharing information with each other are helpful- it is otherwise hard to stay on top of who is getting married, or graduating, or changing jobs, or having children. I personally enjoy seeing some of the articles that other friends and colleagues have found interesting that they share on website like Facebook. However, last week I noticed that there is a downside to this as well. Unfortunately, as many of have noticed already, the internet has no librarian and as a result offers a forum for people to share information on virtually any topic with no responsibility to providing proof or sources. I found there was an article being shared (and then re-shared) by a number of my friend’s on their Facebook pages entitled “Big Hospital Finally Telling the Truth about Cancer.” This article goes on to imply this is news being shared by Johns Hopkins Hospital, and makes statements that are not supported by research and could lead to significant stress and misinformation for a person with cancer. This is one example of many non-regulated websites making similar unfounded claims, which is challenging and unfortunate because it can cause confusion and at times mistrust between a patient and their cancer treatment team. I highly encourage using sites with reliable, evidenced based research on nutrition and cancer which can be found on

the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics website:
www.eatright.org

Or the American Institute for Cancer Research website:
www.aicr.org

Or the American Cancer Society:
http://www.aicr.org/


Or better yet, set up an appointment with a registered dietitian that specializes in oncology nutrition. You can find one near you by typing your city or zip code into the following website:
http://www.oncologynutrition.org/search/

If you are a patient here at BIDMC Cancer Center, feel free to call (617) 667-2289 to set up an appointment with myself, Lauren Fay.

In somewhat of a happy ending to the alarming article I saw shared last week, it appears this caught Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center’s attention as well and they wrote an excellent response to the unfounded claims which you can find in the link below:
http://m.hopkinsmedicine.org/kimmel_cancer_center/news_events/featured/cancer_update_email_it_is_a_hoax.html#nutritional%20deficiencies

Lauren

Lauren Fay, RD, LDN, CNSC, CSO
Oncology Dietitian, Ambulatory
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 667-2565
lfay@bidmc.harvard.edu


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