Facebook Is Dangerous

Every article a friend posts on Facebook is true, isn't it?   Facebook can be so dangerous.  People post their points of view and opinions and state them as if they are fact.   

Sometimes these people link their viewpoints to an article to help it seem more credible.  You have to realize that these sources are often not based in actual research and are opinion pieces or hoaxes rather than factual articles.

Why do I care?  I am a breast cancer survivor.  Everyday I see one person or another post about cancer cures on their Facebook pages.  These people are often not cancer survivors themselves.  They post about certain foods and a change in diet being a way to cure cancer.  This drives me crazy!  As a cancer survivor I am offended by these kinds of posts.  Anyone that has lost a loved one from cancer understands why this offends me.

By posting these articles about various foods being the cure for cancer they are implying that if they were to receive a cancer diagnosis that they would treat it naturally by changing their diets and eating these "life saving" foods.  They are doing society a disservice by posting this.  Why would they want to stop someone from seeking life saving chemo or radiation treatments?  If a food was really a cure for cancer, you don't think that the medical community would jump on that?   

When I received my cancer diagnosis, I wanted that cancer out of my body.  I wanted to follow the protocol for the best possible results.  I do not have a medical degree so I do not act like I have one.  I did research the treatments that I was receiving and tried to be as knowledgeable as I could. I trusted the doctors that they wanted me to be cancer free too.  There was no way that I was going to try to eat a food and hope that it would cure me.

I have even seen posts where people try to convince others that mammograms are dangerous.  Really?  If a doctor suspected that they had cancer in their body, do they really want us to think that they would avoid a mammogram and "hope for the best?"

When people post these "cures," be careful!  Talk to an actual licensed physician and talk to people who have survived a cancer diagnosis.  Find out what they think of these so called "magic" foods.   Do your own research by checking these articles out on websites like snopes.com.   There is a current hoax going around that states the articles came from Johns Hopkins, a very reputable hospital.  John's Hopkins posted this rebuttal letter in response to the hoax.

 I encourage all patients to ask questions.  Don't blindly follow the internet or your doctor.  Get the facts and take the time to discuss your treatment with knowledgeable people who have survived cancer.


  1. Hi Amy,

    As someone who has had cancer, this resonates with me. My cancer was not a particularly aggressive type of cancer - but at age 22, any cancer diagnosis is enough to shake you up and make you really wonder about what you could have done/be doing differently.

    I'm also someone who has come to feel that diet might play an important, although not all-encompassing, role in general health and wellness. For me, this conviction was something the Lord really used to heal me emotionally from my cancer scare. I always had a paralyzing phobia of cancer and then one day we discovered I had it. What are the odds? I tried to remain faithful to what I knew about God and to trust His character, but it felt like a sick joke. Like a calculated punch in the gut. It took me a couple years after my experience to heal spiritually and to accept God's sovereignty in my life. I see now looking back that letting me get cancer was perhaps necessary for that spiritual maturation. And for that I am so thankful. I actually wouldn't change what happened at all because of what I learned from it. Like your blog title suggests, some of the best things in life are not only mistakes, but painful difficulties.

    Also a part of my healing was coming to feel that I could take SOME lifestyle measures to take better care of myself, instead of being the helpless victim that I always felt cancer made me out to be. Coming to this conviction helped me to cope and to have the courage and motivation I needed to start treating my body well after years of neglect and apathy. I finally felt like I could do SOMETHING, (obviously not everything - that's God's jurisdiction) about my health. I'm glad God used my health scare to show me that.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I would say that not everyone who posts cancer advice is trying to be insensitive or misleading (I know I follow integrative health news and post about foods that I think lend themselves to cancer prevention). Rather, I think most people are doing it out of love and concern. Even if they haven't had cancer, everyone these days knows someone who does. For that reason, we are all pretty desperate for a cure and interested in whatever cancer developments we might be making these days (which more and more is incorporating diet/lifestyle into its general gameplan - even the Johns Hopkins correction letter includes dietary considerations in its guidelines. Diet might not be the magic bullet, but it can certainly help rather than hurt). That being the case, I think these people are lovingly trying to spread the word, not insult anyone who definitely knows what it’s like to be on the other side.

    I definitely understand where you're coming from about providing medical advice and advising people to forgo conventional treatment. That IS dangerous. I know if someone told me during my cancer experience that one simple veggie or magic juice could cure it and that I should ignore the advice of my doctor, I would probably say, “heck no!” So you’re right, when you have cancer you’re desperate; you’re in survival mode; you trust the experts and that’s wise. I too was doing whatever my doctor's said. I wish I had known earlier, however, that the ways I was eating, sleeping, and living for the 22 years prior may have contributed to my early-life health crisis, but no one can say if that's true for sure. So I also feel that once someone is in a cancer situation, they need to make the best decisions with the resources and information they have, and that involves listening to doctors (even if treatment options are less than ideal). Yet if I were to go through my cancer scare again, I would arm myself with the knowledge that maintaining a lifestyle of stellar nutrition in the midst of conventional treatment is the one thing I can do to contribute to my own healing.

    Thanks for bringing up this other side though, Amy. I will definitely be more selective about the things I post and proliferate.

  2. Lydia, Thank you so much for taking the time to write that response. You are very knowledgeable about diet and nutrition and I have never found your posts to be offensive. I was only referring to the people who claim foods are the cure. Prevention is a whole other story. I agree with you about lifestyle changes with diet and sleep habits that may be a way to prevent some kinds of cancers. I agree that people who post prevention foods are doing it out of love and concern and hope that there will be less cancer in the world. I think that you are right about a combination of conventional treatments and diet being a good way to promote healing and reoccurrence. Unfortunately, some people (not you) post these "magic cures" that they recommend in lieu of conventional treatments. I even had a former Facebook friend say that she felt that mammograms did more harm than good. That is scary!

  3. Yes, I've heard about that... Some people feel that the radiation exposure from mammograms does more harm than good. But in a lot of ways we're between a rock and a hard place. I honestly hate how toxic conventional cancer treatments can be and wish we used more healthy, holistic methods to tackle it. But this is where we are today and we can only do our best. Sometimes alternative prevention and medicines work and ought to be used; but it's misleading to make blanket statements about how every type of cancer should be addressed (especially since "cancer" isn't one disease, it's hundreds of different forms of the same activity). I think there's something to be said about shopping around for a team of doctors and collecting varied advice. I can't say what I would or wouldn't do in the future, but as it stands now I would personally try to find an integrative doctor who included nutrition heavily in a treatment plan. But yes, advising people to forgo surgeries or screenings is worrying; I totally agree. Thanks for the response and for writing. I enjoy your honest perspectives. :)

  4. If people who are diagnosed with Cancer go to Facebook for their treatment options, we are in trouble. The average person would never do that. They would seek competent care from someone they trusted, not an article that floated its way around Facebook.

    I find that objections to this kind of article is one group of people attempting to control another. My brother is very quick to try to control everything I post, claiming my posts are irresponsible. The fact is that I bought into medical propaganda for years and was sick as a dog for years. I used to insult and ridicule those in the holistic community and claimed they were irresponsible. One day I woke up with the clear vision that the holistic community is made up of people that are healthy as a horse. And that as a "sick" person, maybe I should stop criticizing and start embracing. And that is what I started doing.

    Today as a post cancer patient and an MS patient I take very seriously my need to grasp responsible health practices. And I struggled to embrace nutritional responsibility and healthy behaviors. Something that I did not consistently do in the past.

    I have been one of "those people" who have allowed responsible living to replace medical intervention. And I have seen some wonderful results. I no longer take any MS injections and I do not frequently get mammograms. I toy with it because I know I should get one occasionally, but because my cancer was thoracic, I choose to get the lung CT scan instead. Getting both feels irresponsible, because it is a known fact that excessive radiation will raise the risk of a cancer occurrence. My gyno works with me, trying to help me develop a responsible schedule that we both can live with. He allows for flexibility because he trusts in my health behaviors.

    We are all influenced in different ways. I remember when I was diagnosed with Cancer, Susan Summers had recently been diagnosed. She really did not embrace standard medical practice in her dealings with Cancer. And at the time I was seeing a therapist that applauded Susan Summers for her approach. Neither Susan or my therapist made a difference in the way I approached my own cancer. So I truly think the postings on Facebook are benign.

    I believe that there are many ways to skin the cat. And I believe that radical illness needs radical behavior. Those who say they were healed through food take a radical approach to food. Unless a person takes a radical approach, they do not realize the power behind the change. And I realize that because I fought it for so many years and felt into tremendous health once I transformed my eating.

    I know I was up all night last night with a toothache from a tooth that needs a root canal. This morning, first thing, I made a green juice and filled it with ginger...which is a natural anti inflammatory. It brought me more relief than any medication I had tried during the night. And the Tylenol with codeine that my husband placed on my dresser for me to take is still there tonight. When we drink an alkaline drink we work to balance the acidic nature of many other dietary practices. And it works to bring the body more into balance. Right down to our teeth.

    If I posted that this morning, my brother would have ripped into me like a monkey on a cupcake. So I didn't post it because I couldn't deal with him. I find it insulting that one group of people are "allowed" their say, while others are not. And at the end of the day, who really is to say what the right way is.

    I see very few people willing to make radical lifestyle changes to correct radical medical conditions. And in the end, I am saddened by that. I lost many years of life due to my own stubbornness. But I do Praise God that I came around and am finally living a life of better health quality.

    My neurologist always tells me to write a book. Then he tells me to sign him over the first copy. Obviously not everyone in the medical profession has closed mind thinking.

  5. a few years back, a close family friend was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. The Dr. was explaining this as "not being a death sentence" " the most curable stage" etc etc - he laid out many viable options and asked how they would proceed. At that time she wanted to weigh her options and the Dr. Told her to make an appointment for the next week after she thought it over so they could schedule her procedures etc. She never went back to the Dr. Instead she decided she would be healed by her spiritual guide, the foods she ate and her crystal bed. She had NEVER been this way before. She passed away recently after her battle, of which she never fought ONE day with medical intervention. I was sitting at her funeral, listening to the "whys" of her family and friends. I remembered her actually saying just months before that she was cancer free, when her family was elated, she explained she 'just knew" - turns out, the cancer was actually in her brain, and those thoughts came more frequently during the last couple months. It is sad. I see her children still posting about spirtual guides and this way of cancer fighting, and I have a hard time understanding how they still think this is ok. My point is- it offends me too!!!!! (sorry for the bit of off topic)


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