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Be wary of all the medical info you read online

A new American-based research report published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute convened an expert panel to assess the medical information found in 200 of the most popular articles on social media related to cancer treatment, and the panel concluded that “one third of the most popular cancer treatment articles on social media contain misinformation”.

What’s probably even worse, though, is that the panel also claims that the “vast majority of that misinformation has the potential to harm cancer patients”.

How?

By “supporting approaches that could negatively impact the quality of their treatment”.

In other words, by hyping unproven “alternate” medical treatments.

And perhaps least surprisingly, the panel also found that “articles containing misinformation garner more attention and engagement than articles with evidence-based information”.

So, for sure, the internet and social media are great places to get medical info.

Just use your common sense in assessing what you read and always use this guideline: If it sounds too good to be true, there’s no way it’s gonna be true.