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'YouTube medicine' criticised by researchers over misleading cancer advice

The most popular YouTube videos on prostate cancer often offer misleading or biased medical information that poses potential health risks on patients, a study by researchers at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine shows.

Collaborating with NYU's Perlmutter Cancer Centre, the team analysed the 150 most-viewed YouTube videos on the disease and found that 77 per cent of the videos had factual errors or biased content in either the video or its comments section.

Researchers say the YouTube audience for these videos was large, with average total viewership of 45,000 and as high as 1.3 million for specific videos.

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NHS

Popular prostate cancer videos on YouTube 'inaccurate and biased'

"'Be wary' about prostate cancer YouTube videos, scientists warn," reports Sky News.

Researchers viewed the 150 first-listed videos on YouTube for prostate cancer screening and treatment, checking them against standard patient information quality criteria. They found that 77% had errors or bias either in the videos or the comments beneath them. Worryingly, the most popular videos were the ones that scored worst on the quality checks.

Videos were also more likely to explain benefits than harms of screening and treatments.

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