Patients With Cancer Facing Fraud and Exploitation

Cybercriminals take advantage of patients with cancer through ransomware attacks, phishing scams and identity theft.

Navigating life with cancer can be a journey fraught with challenges, from the physical and emotional toll of treatment to the financial burdens that often accompany a diagnosis. In the midst of this, some patients find themselves facing other hardships: exploitation and fraud.

This seasonal issue of CURE reports on the disturbing trend of scammers targeting patients with cancer. As one expert aptly notes, a cancer diagnosis can render individuals vulnerable not only medically but also financially, creating fertile ground for such attacks.

The feature delves into several incidents, from text message scams to institutional cyberattacks on prominent cancer centers. The accounts of patients reportedly receiving threatening emails following cyberattacks and the theft of millions of patients’ personal information underscore the magnitude of this issue.

Ransomware attacks, phishing scams and identity theft are among the nefarious tactics employed by cybercriminals, taking advantage of patients’ fears and uncertainties for financial gain. The sophistication of these tactics and the abundance of personal information available can pose a threat to patients’ well-being.

Elsewhere in this issue, an expert discusses some of the issues faced by adolescent and young adult, or AYA, patients as they transition into adult care over time, including long-term concerns regarding fertility and cognitive impairment.

“It’s such a struggle because they might not be thinking about some of these long-term effects. They might not be thinking about fertility or ‘What classes am I going to take next semester?’ because they’re just trying to get through day to day,” Lillian Dugan, director of programs for the Dear Jack Foundation, explained as part of our “Speaking Out” series.

This issue also looks at how a healthy diet has been shown to be associated with sustained minimal residual disease negativity in some patients, provides expert insight into post-mastectomy chest numbness in patients with breast cancer and explores how the BCMA protein has been targeted in the treatment of multiple myeloma.

As always, we hope you find our stories inspirational and informative. Thank you for reading.

Mike Hennessy Jr.

President & CEO

MJH Life Sciences®

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.

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