Are all the treatments announced on TV effective?
TV is used more and more frequently as a means of medical-scientific dissemination, but not everything that ends up on television is true. Television programs often report data relating to the preliminary stages of a research when, although initially promising, they are not yet sufficient to be used as a therapy on patients. At other times, guided by the logic of the television market, these programs report partial or distorted information, which leave ample room for interpretation in a field, such as the medical one, where the lack of specific knowledge can make the public easily influenced.
Recent history teaches us how the lack of specific knowledge about a given disease can contribute to creating real media cases, regardless of the scientific basis. This, unfortunately, creates illusions and false hopes in patients who, turning hopefully to their doctor, are unable to accept that the treatment proposed by the media is not proven to be effective and safe or even a scam.
To prevent patients from being subjected to inappropriate therapies, international and national scientific societies have created a tool to ensure maximum therapeutic efficacy: guidelines, i.e. behavioral protocols that doctors must follow to treat a specific disease.
The use of these guidelines protects the patient by ensuring the most effective therapy with the best risk-benefit ratio.
1. Order of Journalists. Ethics: the rules
2. Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC)