Online medical misinformation in cancer: Distinguishing fact from fiction
Teplinsky E, Ponce SB, Drake EK, et al. Online Medical Misinformation in Cancer: Distinguishing Fact From Fiction. JCO Oncol Pract. 2022;18(8):584-589. doi:10.1200/OP.21.00764
It is without question that the Internet has democratized access to medical information, with estimates that 70% of the American population use it as a resource, particularly for cancer-related information. Such unfettered access to information has led to an increase in health misinformation. Fortunately, the data indicate that health care professionals remain among the most trusted information resources. Therefore, understanding how the Internet has changed engagement with health information and facilitated the spread of misinformation is an important task and challenge for cancer clinicians. In this review, we perform a meta-synthesis of qualitative data and point toward empirical evidence that characterizes misinformation in medicine, specifically in oncology. We present this as a call to action for all clinicians to become more active in ongoing efforts to combat misinformation in oncology.