Cancer patients flooded with misleading ads on Facebook, report finds

Cancer patients who use Facebook have been inundated with advertisements promoting dubious or even dangerous treatments for the disease, MIT Technology Review reported June 27.

The sensational ads endorse nonevidence-based treatments, including a proprietary vitamin C-based mixture and a diet-based therapy, according to the magazine's review of evidence from Facebook and Instagram users, healthcare researchers and Meta's ad library.

"Us cancer patients and survivors, we are just bombarded with all these kinds of alternative things all the time," Nikhil Autar, a medical student in Australia with acute myeloid leukemia, told the magazine.

A spokesperson for Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, told Becker's it has "rejected several of the ads for violating our misleading claims policy, which prohibits claims of cures for incurable diseases."

Several of the since-removed ads involved Centro Hospitalario Internacional del Pacifico, or CHIPSA, an integrative cancer hospital in Mexico that offers a special diet and detox for cancer treatment that has been widely discredited by the medical establishment, MIT Technology Review reported.

CHIPSA didn't respond to requests from the magazine or Becker's for comment.

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