A viral message claiming that a leading oncologist from Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai stated that hot coconut water kills cancer kills is false.
Furthermore, it can not be proved scientifically.
This viral message has been attributed to Dr. Rajendra Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Centre, one of the leading hospitals for cancer care in India.
The message is viral on Whatsapp and Facebook. It states that the oncologist claims that consuming water made by mixing coconut flakes into hot water affects and kills malignant, dangerous cancer cells without affecting the healthy ones.
This message has been viral since May this year and has resurfaced on August 28th.
BOOM contacted Dr. Rajendra Badwe who was travelling when contacted. His office confirmed that Dr. Badwe had not made any statements of this accord.
They also mentioned that they had released a statement in May denying commenting on coconut water and cancer cure.
There is not enough scientific evidence substantiating the role of coconut water in cancer treatment.
BOOM also contacted Dr. S Bhattacharjee, a radio oncologist with HCG Hospitals, Bangalore to understand whether coconuts actually play a role in cancer treatment.
“I haven’t heard of this treatment but I will not opine whether it is completely fake. But yes, there is a lack of scientific evidence around this claim. Unless, scientifically proved, I will not prescribe such medication.”
BOOM could not find any scientific studies linking coconut water and cancer cells.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death with 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to the WHO.
Currently, cancer can be treated by precision medicine, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy, and stem cell transplant.
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Shachi Sutaria is a fact-checker at BOOM. She has previously worked as a health research analyst at AMS Consulting, Lucknow for various national and international clients. She is a post- graduate in Public Health- Health administration from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
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