Cancer and the media
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The relationship between cancer and the media is often characterized as one-sided, akin to a mysterious and complex love affair. Oncologists, acknowledging the enigmatic nature of cancer, emphasize that prevention is the most effective method for keeping this disease at bay. They express a fervent hope that the public comprehends the risks associated with cancer, factors that pervade our surroundings such as toxins, food, the environment and detrimental habits like smoking.

It is deemed essential for individuals to be informed about these factors, and doctors aspire for people to recognize the critical symptoms of cancer. These symptoms, although resembling those of benign conditions, necessitate understanding and proactive response rather than unfounded fear that could hinder early detection.

Early detection is paramount for successful recovery, and doctors appreciate the media as a valuable tool for disseminating crucial information to the public, alleviating the burdens borne by those affected by cancer.

Conversely, the media exhibits a less favorable stance toward cancer. It often sensationalizes the disease, instilling fear and perpetuating misinformation. Media representations of cancer patients in movies and series tend to portray them only in dire circumstances, neglecting the positive aspect of recovery. Despite the favorable recovery rates and curability of many cancer types, the media’s portrayal tends to focus on the bleak aspects, contributing to widespread fear.

The media’s negative impact on cancer extends to the dissemination of false rumors and the promotion of unverified means and medicines as sensational revelations. Such misinformation can inflict harm on patients and their families, with detrimental consequences. Throughout my medical career, I have witnessed the tragic loss of numerous patients due to misinformation propagated for the sake of sensationalism and increased readership.

Western media, a source of scientific news for many news platforms, is prone to publishing inaccurate information and unreliable discoveries to bolster their countries’ medical reputation and scientific research standing. Our media often falls victim to these promotions and deceit, ultimately harming patients. A substantial portion of the health budget in Western countries is attributed to the misinformation propagated by their media, leading patients to seek unnecessary treatments based on false information.

In light of these issues, it is imperative that our newspapers and channels seek guidance from scientists and specialized doctors to vet scientific news from Western sources. Only verified and accurate information should be disseminated to eradicate the influence of a Western media “mafia” that profits from disseminating inaccurate and sometimes misleading information.