This is a heartbreaking story. Facebook communities have sprung up to share information on a common ground but so have the alternative therapies addressing those.
While there have been anecdotal reports about the extent of marketing in mainstream media, very few have covered the human angle to it.
These are wake up calls for the oncology community as a whole to double down on communication. I’d also push for palliative care for those who need it. This is as much as a societal problem as administrative.
But after reading a lot online, Sean believed he could cure his cancer by detoxing and completely changing his lifestyle, avoiding the gruelling side effects he remembered from chemotherapy.Sean also relied on “thermographic scans” – heat images of the body.
He took them as reassurance that the alternative treatments were working, although the NHS warns there is no evidence that thermography is an effective way to test for or monitor cancer.
Aimee says for her the scans, which were advertised as “radiation-free”, were giving her false hope: “They were sort of reassuring me, so up until the point when he actually went into hospital I believed it was working.”I lost my boyfriend to cancer ‘conspiracy theories’ – BBC Three