Heart-tugging tales of crowdfunded cancer ‘cures’ fuel quack medicine | Digital Science

Media stories about people with cancer seeking controversial are unwittingly bolstering unscientific and potentially harmful treatments, says Michael Marshall

person in hospital

Treatment should be evidence-based

Jasmin Merdan/Getty

Crowdfunding campaigns to help people with cancer pay for expensive and ineffective alternative treatments are becoming more common. These often set six-figure targets in order to meet the fees charged for controversial therapies. Newspaper headlines are almost guaranteed and fuel the flow of money to the clinics involved.

The BMJ this week reports concerns over this, based on information I gathered working for the charity Good Thinking. By sifting fundraising sites like JustGiving and GoFundMe to identify appeals from people in the UK who sought funding for unproven or disproven …

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