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YouTube videos about prostate cancer may be dangerously misleading men suffering from the disease, a new study suggests.
In recent years, Americans have increasingly looked to Dr Google - instead of their actual physicians - for health information.
Percent - Time - Issues - Online
More than 60 percent of us spend time looking up medical issues online.
The internet has an endless treasure trove of (unverified) information that might be useful if you're considering, say, trying a new diet.
Stakes - Cancer - Patients - Number - Treatments
But the stakes are much higher for cancer patients, a growing number of whom are choosing alternative treatments instead of proven ones like chemotherapy.
A new study from New York University found that 77 percent of the 150 most viewed YouTube videos on prostate cancer contained misleading or biased information that may encourage patients to get unnecessarily aggressive - and dangerous - surgeries.
Year - US - Cases - Prostate - Cancer
Every year in the US, nearly 165,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed.
Aside from skin cancer, prostate is the most common form of cancer in American men - but that doesn't make a diagnosis any less scary to new patients or men concerned they may have the disease.
Prostate - Cancer - Videos - Views - YouTube
That is likely why there are so many prostate cancer videos with so many views on YouTube.
There are over 600,000 prostate cancer videos on the popular platform - more videos than there are people in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Average - Views - Views
Each of those has an average of 45,000 views, though some have as many as 1.3 million views.
But researchers at New York University found that many of those videos contain incorrect information, or don't comply with US guidelines on how to talk to patients about cancers or define potentially confusing medical terms.
Quality - Research - Viewership - Vice - Versa
Perhaps most concerning, the higher the scientific quality of the research was, the lower the viewership - and vice versa, so the most inaccurate...
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