April, 2024
April 2024
Rebecca Shatsky: We need to do more to debunk this growing threat of total disinformation
Feb 28, 2024, 18:16

Rebecca Shatsky: We need to do more to debunk this growing threat of total disinformation

Rebecca Shatsky shared a post on X/Twitter:

“I had a patient recently with advanced stage cancer go to a local naturopath and the naturopath told her she didn’t have cancer, she had parasites and that if she took the supplements and bought some “anti-parasite” drops spouts sells everything would get better.

I was honestly shocked that patients (and naturopaths) believe this kind of nonsense, but it made me realize we need to do more to debunk this growing threat of total disinformation (otherwise know as lies) that patients are hearing from both the internet and quacks.

The patients believing this mind you are not my indigent patients with little formal education. It’s my wealthy educated patients primarily. (you need money to pay out of pocket to see naturopath) All with college degrees. Even more troubling to me.

I’m trying to figure out how to best debunk this growing (and money-making) trend that these people are spending, but struggling on how to best use my platform to do that.

I’ve even considered visiting one of the people who have told my patients this as a patient, making up some complaint and seeing if they diagnose me with parasites too so that I can write about the experience.

It’s not just cancer patients that are being told they have “parasites” it’s everyone. The whole thing is so silly because parasitic infections are quite easy to diagnose and fairly rare in the US in those without International travel due to good sanitation.

They are also being told they have “candida,” without any explanation of the significance of that. Candida is a ubiquitous yeast (form of fungus). We all have species of yeast living mostly in harmony with us at any given time. If we become immunocompromised or antibiotics kill our normal flora it can overgrown in the mouth, throat, vagina etc. And we may need anti-fungal meds.

Naturopaths are telling patients however that they have Candida infections in their blood. This is straight up nonsense. Candida infections in the bloodstream are imminently life threatening and generally happen in hospitalized patients with other life threatening medical issues.

Here is an explanation of candida in the bloodstream, also known as invasive candidiasis.

Source: Rebecca Shatsky/X

Rebecca A. Shatsky is an Associate Professor of Medicine and a board-certified medical oncologist at the University of California, San Diego. She specializes in treating breast cancer and is part of UC San Diego Health’s Precision Immunotherapy Clinic. Dr. Shatsky is a member of the NCCN guideline panel for Genetic/High-Risk Assessment of Breast, Ovarian, and Pancreatic Cancer and the panel for the treatment of Cancer-Associated Pain. Dr. Shatsky is a well known social media influencer.