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Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

How to survive the fake news about cancer

Jul 23, 2019

For Eileen O’Sullivan, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 was the catalyst for a deluge of distinctly unscientific and frequently dangerous advice. An investment manager with a analytical mind, she began seeking information to better understand her potentially life-altering condition.

But from the moment Eileen starting searching online, misinformation was unavoidable: “This is when all the suggestions start rolling in,” she says. “Before diagnosis, I had never heard of crank treatments for cancer: herbs, supplements, diets, juicing, clean eating, homeopathy, essential oils, nor adverts for overseas alternative cancer clinics. I certainly didn’t go looking for them, but I got endless prompts based on keywords such as breast cancer. I was also inundated with relatives and friends coming out with crackpot therapies – and even from other patients in chemo wards and waiting rooms.”

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