FIT WebQoof: There is No Miracle Medicine That Cures Blood Cancer
A viral message making an astonishing claim is doing the rounds. The message states that one medicine called Imitinef Mercilet cures blood cancer and is available for free in a hospital in Pune, Maharashtra.
Various versions of this message have been doing the rounds since 2010, but the details of the hospital are different.
The image below is from around 10 years ago and it states that the free medicine will be available at Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai not the Yashodha Hematology Cancer Institute in Pune, Maharashtra as the most recent message in 2019 is saying.
TRUE OR FALSE?
We broke down the various elements of the claim, from calling the mentioned numbers to looking into the drug mentioned.
FIT tried calling the numbers on the numbers on the message but their were all disconnected or unreachable. Next, we looked into the medical information given in the claims, here is what we found.
Different Types of Blood Cancers Need Different Medication
‘Blood cancer’ is a an umbrella term for many different types of cancers that affect your bone marrow and blood cells, according to WebMD.
There are three major types of blood cancer – Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma – that all need specific treatment. It is highly dubious that there is a one size fits all solution to a severe disease.
On the Practo website, there was an anonymous inquiry about the viral claim in 2015. One Dr Kaushal Yadav, a cancer surgeon from Gurgaon, responded saying, “ Any drug is given based on certain characteristics of cancer.”
Yadav’s profile and medical registration were verified from the Practo site.
According to HoaxorFact, ‘Imitinef Mercilet’ is another spelling for Imatinib mesylate which is a chemotherapy drug used while treating leukemia and certain other types of cancer.
However Imatinib cannot treat other types of blood cancers states WebMD.
Imatinib slows down or stops the growth of cancer cells during chemotherapy and is not a solitary, miracle cure.
Cancer is a devastating disease that needs specific attention depending on the type and patient.
Is The Drug Free?
The Adyar Cancer Institute’s mission statement reads, “The ethos of the Cancer Institute (WIA) is "service to all" irrespective of social or economic class.”
The website adds, “ Of the hospital beds, only 40% are paying beds and the remaining are general beds where patients are boarded and lodged free of cost. 40% of the patients are treated totally free and remaining patients pay a nominal amount.”
According to Sehat, an online database and finder of doctors across India, the Adyar Institute is mentioned in a list of top hospitals in India that offer free cancer treatment. Sehat mentions that, “ Out of its [Adyar Institute] 535 beds, 40 percent are chargeable and on an average 66% get either free or reduced rate treatment. “
However, there is no such mention at Pune’s Yashoda Hematology Clinic’s social media pages.
Old Claim, Previously Debunked
As the screenshots above show, this rumour has resurfaced several times through the years since 2010.
In a Times of India report from February 2015, Dr Vishal Rao, Consultant, Head and Neck surgical consultant from HealthCare Global said, “We don’t know who are spreading such rumours or it’s just a trick. People are coming to us and inquiring about it. In allopathic medical system, we only prescribe evidence based medicine which treats the disease.”
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