Seeing Through the Hype
How many times have you seen headlines or had an excited call/email/test from a friend about a wonderful new drug? Yes, there is sometimes wonderful news, but more often these snippets of delight turn out to collapse under thoughtful investigation. Don't you think that, if there really were a new drug that cures cancer, your doctor would know about it?
The best advice turns out to be the old advice: If something seems too good to be true, it's probably not.
And here is a helpful way to think about all of this from Heather Millar:
Is That 'Promising' Treatment Actually Proven?
When you’re a cancer patient, there are so many things that can make you miserable: neuropathy, nausea,
mouth sores, lesions on your fingers and toes, crushing fatigue . . . the list goes on and on.
And in this era of interconnectedness, we patients can turn to the internet to find treatments that might
bring relief. Thank goodness we have so much medical knowledge available to us – but not all of the
information out there can be trusted.
Just as con artists once peddled chalk and opium suspended in alcohol as a “cure” for cancer, there are
still plenty of companies trying to push unproven treatments. So how can you tell what’s real and what’s a
If you come across a treatment that sounds great but you’re not sure if it’s real or not, ask yourself these
• Is the treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration? Check here.
• What do major cancer websites have to say about this treatment?