[Comment] Cancer hospital advertising and outcomes: trust the messenger?

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Hospitals have made substantial investments in advertising for cancer services in the past two decades, totalling over US$200 million in 2016 alone.1,2 Advertisements promoting cancer centres are unavoidable in the USA. They hang on highway billboards and on air during prime-time programming. Some advertisements claim superior outcomes, others highlight access to clinical trials, and many present heart-warming patient stories that might be non-representative of actual outcomes.3 Data suggest that patients are highly aware of advertisements and are likewise influenced by them.

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