Beware of Scammers in the Cancer World

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t find an article in the news about a scam that has been uncovered that has been associated with a cancer story. Most often, it has to do with someone who is raising funds for cancer treatments in a space such as GoFundMe. There have been far too many parents who have used their young children as bait to beg for money, even going to the extent of convincing the child that he/she actually has cancer. Then there are those who are soliciting money for their own cancer treatment when they don’t even have cancer.

And while we may be very caring and giving as the people that we are, we must also be very vigilant in whatever actions we take, especially when it comes to those who are scamming those who are dealing with cancer or using a fake diagnosis in order to gain financial support.Barbara Jacoby

There is another whole group of scammers who are offering hope for miracle treatments to cure their cancer that are the hardest to detect. One such example is a woman who has been posing as a licensed physician who, over the past 15 years, has changed her name plenty of times as she offered bogus medical treatments to sick and dying patients across the U.S., from Alabama and Georgia to Arkansas and Kansas, court records show. And, almost daily, we all see the promises being made about the latest in non-medical treatments and all sorts of ways to cure cancer through the use of certain diets, devices, exercise programs and a whole host of other products and techniques.

This is not to say that every fund-raising program is illegitimate or that every holistic practitioner is out to scam the community because such is not the case. However, there are so many good people who want to give to help another person in need and if they read a really good story, they are moved to give some money to the people who are requesting it without really knowing if their cause is real. Therefore, before you part with your hard-earned money, you might want to verify that the fund-raisers are legitimate or for individual causes, that the story has been or can be confirmed as real and that the person really needs the funds for the purposes for which they are soliciting them.

With regard to those who are making promises of treatments or programs to follow in order to cure cancer, everyone must be skeptical as we all know that such broad claims can’t be verified and/or certified. As with anything else that you do with regard to your diet and exercise and health regimens, you should always check with your doctor before engaging on any level. You might think that if the treatment that is being proposed is safe just because it is a natural substance, for example, you don’t know whether its interaction with another medication is actually toxic. Nor do you know the source or the processing of any product that you are about to put into your body so you may want to do your own research and verification of its safety before you start taking it.

Cancer patients, and everyone else for that matter, must advocate for themselves not just with regard to their medical healthcare but also with regard to every other aspect of their lives. There are far too many people out there who are willing to take advantage of others with schemes to make money without so much as a single thought of how their actions may actually hurt the person. Power, money and greed are great motivators for some and this can be done without so much as a single regret on the part of the person who is preying upon others. And while we may be very caring and giving as the people that we are, we must also be very vigilant in whatever actions we take, especially when it comes to those who are scamming those who are dealing with cancer or using a fake diagnosis in order to gain financial support.

Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.