Verification Needed: Unverified and untrue assertions regarding cancer treatment resurface on social media

Shared across X, Facebook, and WhatsApp groups, a lengthy text asserts that the removal of sugar from one’s diet, along with daily consumption of lemon juice and a spoonful of coconut oil, can effectively cure all forms of cancer. This assertion, however, is unfounded and untrue.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, a post asserts that an oncologist in Moscow contends cancer is not a fatal disease. The post, uploaded on July 11, suggests that cancer-related deaths occur due to a lack of knowledge. According to this text, a doctor in Russia claims that cancer can be eradicated by avoiding sugar, consuming warm water with lemon juice before breakfast, and taking three spoonfuls of coconut oil daily. The post emphasizes the doctor’s call to disseminate this information to help save people from cancer.

This post has garnered significant attention, with over 4,000 reposts, 6,000 likes, and more than 600,000 views. Similar posts have been shared by other social media users.

Fact: Four oncologists in Pakistan confirm that there is no scientific evidence supporting the alleged treatments mentioned in the viral posts to cure or prevent cancer. Dr. Zeeshan Tariq, a medical oncologist at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, stressed that all medical treatments for cancer worldwide are grounded in data and research. Dr. Tariq emphasized the diversity of cancer types, each requiring specific treatments based on the disease stage and type. He cautioned against making unsubstantiated claims, as they could mislead and endanger cancer patients.

Dr. Muhammad Tariq, an assistant professor and consultant oncology specialist at Khyber Teaching Hospital, dismissed the online posts as untrue and mentioned their frequent circulation on WhatsApp.

Dr. Qasim Mahmood Buttar, Chairperson of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, labeled the claims as a “conspiracy theory.” Dr. Mehwish Shehzadi, a medical oncologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, also categorized the claims as “false.”


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