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Cancer research development hype could give patients false hope

by AirTalk®

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Basic science leads to some clinical trials and possibly new cancer treatments. /thelinke/iStockphoto

Buzzwords like “breakthrough” may give cancer patients unrealistic expectations of survival, sparking concern around false hope in the medical community.

As reported by Kaiser Health News, there are several factors which potentially contribute to a false sense of security for cancer patients. Media hype around new developments in cancer research, pharmaceutical company promises and hospital ads touting superior bedside manner can cause more harm than good for people in treatment and their families if things don’t turn out as they hoped.

So what happens when expectation doesn’t meet reality? And with so many new strides in cancer research, shouldn’t patients be hopeful?


Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society and professor at the School of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta

Stephen J. Forman, M.D., leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at City of Hope; he specializes in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation


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