How can we help our patients make sensible decisions?
In this increasingly internet-connected world, vulnerable and desperate patients with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer are often advised or motivated to negotiate their way through a seemingly expanding maze of “dietary cures”.1 As an example, a woman claimed to have cured herself of thyroid cancer by eating pineapples.2
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- 2. Robin J. A young woman claims to have found a “cure” for cancer. It’s pineapples, apparently. http://www.mamamia.com.au/wellbeing/woman-cures-cancer-eating-pineapples (accessed May 2015).
- 3. Hall T. More than the sum of our parts. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 522-523. <MJA full text>
- 4. van Kleffens T, van Leeuwen E. Physicians’ evaluations of patients’ decisions to refuse oncological treatment. J Med Ethics 2005; 31: 131-136.
- 5. Haines IE, Lowenthal RM. Hypothesis. The importance of a histological diagnosis when diagnosing and treating advanced cancer. Famous patient recovery may not have been from metastatic disease. Intern Med J 2012; 42: 212-216.
- 6. Haines IE, Lowenthal RM. Reply (to Dr Ian Gawler) [letter]. Intern Med J 2012; 42: 474-475.
- 7. Friends of Science in Medicine. Controversies about CAMs. http://www.scienceinmedicine.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153&Itemid=145 (accessed May 2015).
- 8. Lowenthal R. A helping hand? Vitamins may be dangerous for cancer patients. The Conversation 2011; 9 Jun. http://theconversation.com/a-helping-hand-vitamins-may-be-dangerous-for-cancer-patients-907 (accessed May 2015).
- 9. Hall T. Healed, or hungry? A personal perspective on the Gawler program. Med J Aust 2012; 197: 598-599. <MJA full text>
- 10. Childs O. Don’t believe the hype — 10 persistent cancer myths debunked. http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/03/24/dont-believe-the-hype-10-persistent-cancer-myths-debunked (accessed May 2015).
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