When a cancer treatment commercial airs, the people are happy and smiling. The drug or medical center promises they will cure you and you will be back to yourself soon. They want you to believe that they will make it all better.
They are full of bullshit.
"Patients and families are bombarded with the news that the country is winning the war against cancer. The news media hypes research results to attract readers. Drug companies promise "a chance to live longer" to boost sales. Hospitals woo paying customers with ads that appeal to patients' fears and hopes.
"I'm starting to hear more and more that we are better than I think we really are," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. "We're starting to believe our own bullshit."
The consequences are real -- and they can be deadly. Patients and their families have bought into treatments that either don't work, cost a fortune or cause life-threatening side effects.
"We have a lot of patients who spend their families into bankruptcy getting a hyped therapy that [many] know is worthless," Brawley said. Some choose a medicine that "has a lot of hype around it and unfortunately lose their chance for a cure."
Cancer doesn't come with a pretty bow on it (or a stupid ribbon). Basically cancer is nasty. Its a date with death unless you get lucky.
Current advertising wants you to believe they can cure your cancer and keep you smiling. They make all sorts of promises. But those promises are vague. they can extend your life.
But they do not tell you how long - either the medical centers or the pharmaceutical manufacturers - and it could very well only be a couple of months. And those side effects that are printed in tiny type at the bottom of the ad? Well how about a lot of quality time in the bathroom with diarrhea, extreme pain, fever, chills, and shakes? They never tell you that part.
So perhaps there is a little 'fake news' in the commercials for these cancer treatment centers and the treatments themselves. And they do not even provide enough information for patients anyway.
With a cancer diagnosis, we need to not believe the hype and accept the facts while we find the best treatment options for us.