Stop crowdfunding for "quack" cancer treatments that "could harm," experts warn

Stop crowdfunding for "quack" cancer treatments that "could harm," experts warn

Cancer experts are forcing people to stop using the crowdfunding website to raise funds for an alternative treatment that has no scientific backing and could even harm patients.

According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), around 8 million pounds have been raised since 2012 on crowdfunding websites for so-called quack cancer therapies – often abroad.

Some doctors now demand that JustGiving and GoFundMe review cancer calls to prevent patients and donors from being exploited.

JustGiving figures show 2,300 UK cancer-related remedies on its website in 2016 (Image: JustGiving)
GoFundMe said it has already taken "proactive steps" to make sure that users are better informed (photo: GoFundMe)

Figures collected by the anti-pseudo-science charity The Good Thinking Society show that most of the money raised online was for treatment abroad, with many of the therapies not supported by scientific evidence.

The company's project manager, Michael Marshall, said, "We are worried that so many patients in the UK are raising huge sums of money for treatments that are not evidence-based, and in some cases even harm them."

Appeals for alternative treatments that relate to discredited medicines, extreme dietary habits, intravenous vitamin C and basic therapy should be rejected directly, Marshall said.

He added, "If these platforms continue to benefit from the goodwill of their users – and in fact benefit from the fees they charge for each of their fundraising efforts – they must ensure that they do not promote the exploitation of vulnerable people. 39;

Experts fear that people may collect money for non-evidence-based treatments and even harm patients (Photo: Getty)
Some treatments use drugs that have been discredited in the UK, experts claimed (Photo: Getty)

Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter, also supported the call, pointing out that crowdfunding organizations are already rejecting calls for violence or illegal activities such as terrorist attacks.

He told the BMJ, "Crowdfunding for a terrorist attack is out of the question Crowdfunding for cancer Quackery is no better and needs to be stopped.

JustGiving's own figures show that more than 2,300 cancer therapies have been established at their site in the UK in 2016, a six-fold increase over the previous year.

GoFundMe said it is taking "proactive steps" in the US to make sure its website users are better informed, and that it will do the same in the coming months around the world.

JustGiving told the BMJ, "We do not think we have the expertise to make a judgment on it."

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