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Refer Your Patients to Cancer.Net For Trustworthy Information About Cancer Myths and Misinformation

Jul 21, 2022

By Grace Guido, ASCO Communications

Does living near power lines increase the risk of cancer? Can drinking alkaline water help treat cancer? These are questions that both the general public and people with cancer may have about widespread cancer myths. With so much misinformation about cancer being spread online or by friends and family, it can be difficult for people with cancer to discern what information can be trusted. To address this, Cancer.Net, ASCO’s patient information website, developed a series of blog posts to tackle cancer misinformation and provide people with cancer and their loved ones with trusted, research-backed answers.

Cancer misinformation can be harmful to people with cancer in many ways, including influencing them to delay or abandon conventional cancer treatment. It can also mislead people with cancer into buying expensive, unproven therapies or self-medicating alternatives with potentially harmful effects. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to distinguish what is true and false related to cancer information. It is important for oncology professionals to provide their patients with trusted, credible resources.

Medical oncologist and Cancer.Net Editorial Board member Ann Meredith Garcia Trinidad, MD, MCM, FPCP, FPSMO, FPSO, wrote a Cancer.Net post on social media misinformation that highlights the need for clinicians to have an active role in combatting misinformation to help reduce the chances of their patients potentially seeking unproven treatment alternatives.

“Health care professionals are in a privileged position to educate patients about identifying misinformation and leading them to credible information sources,” said Dr. Garcia Trinidad. “It is also important for clinicians to actively participate in publishing and disseminating correct medical information and flagging or debunking misinformation in a way that patients can more easily understand.”

Each blog post in the Cancer.Net series provides comprehensive insights based on the most current research, written in a way that is easily understood by people with cancer and those who care for them. The posts answer frequently asked questions, offer in-depth explanations of the myths, and provide resources for further reading.

“Cancer.Net contains a lot of useful, expert-approved articles and other resources that can help educate both health care providers and patients alike in a manner that is balanced, easy to understand, and constantly updated,” said Dr. Garcia Trinidad.

The series features a variety of different posts on cancer myths, and more posts will continue to be added to the series as new misconceptions arise. Topics that have been covered in the series include:

Oncology professionals can provide their patients with the Cancer.Net series as a trusted resource that offers easy-to-understand information approved by ASCO members, and know that their patients are receiving reliable information about the myths they might have questions about.

The series is available for free on Cancer.Net and on the Cancer.Net Mobile App.

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