Drapeau has raised about $7,000 on GoFundMe for homeopathy and other alternative remedies since being diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. (Courtesy Michelle Drapeau via AP)
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People seeking dubious, potentially harmful treatment for cancer and other ailments raised nearly $7 million over two years from crowdfunding sites, a study found.The researchers examined campaigns posted from November 2015 through mid-December 2017, mostly on GoFundMe. They focused on five treatments sought in about 1,000 campaigns: homeopathy or naturopathy for cancer; hyperbaric oxygen for brain injuries; stem cells for brain or spinal cord injuries; and long-term antibiotics for persistent Lyme disease. While some patients swear they've benefited from some of the treatments, there is no rigorous scientific evidence that any of them work for the conditions involved, the researchers said.The most numerous were solicitations for homeopathy or naturopathy for cancer 474 requests seeking more than $12 million. U.S. health care costs are exorbitant and many patients run out of money trying to pay them.And despite considerable progress against cancer and other illnesses, conventional treatment can't cure every patient, he noted.
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