Figures published by The BMJ show how crowdfunding for alternative therapies for patients with terminal cancer has soared in recent years. But there are fears that huge sums are being raised for treatments that are not backed by evidence and which, in some cases, may even do then harm, MedicalXpress reports.
JustGiving’s own figures show more than 2300 UK cancer related appeals were set up on its site in 2016, a sevenfold rise on the number for 2015.
The phenomenon has allowed less well-off patients to access expensive, experimental treatments that are not funded by the NHS but have some evidence of benefit. But many fear it has also opened up a new and lucrative revenue stream for cranks, charlatans, and conmen who prey on the vulnerable.
“We are concerned that so many UK patients are raising huge sums for treatments which are not evidence based and which in some cases may even do them harm.”
The society’s project director, Michael Marshall, said.
Melanie Newman, freelance journalist, London, UK, examines calls to help ensure patients and their donors are not being exploited.
Featured image credit @bmj_company.