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A viral fake news story linked trans health care to "thousands" of deaths

By newadmin / Published on Saturday, 28 Sep 2019 10:56 AM / Comments Off on A viral fake news story linked trans health care to "thousands" of deaths / 7 views


A recent article published by Catholic news outlet LifeSiteNews alleged that the drugs used to treat gender dysphoria in some transgender children are linked to “thousands” of deaths.

The story went viral on right-wing news websites such as the Christian Post and the Daily Wire. According to CrowdTangle, a social media metric platform, these posts — including shares by Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro and commentator Matt Walsh — are currently some of the top performing LGBTQ-related content on Facebook and Twitter.

The problem is: the “thousands” of people who die while taking these drugs are likely the terminally ill cancer patients who receive hormone blockers to fight hormone-sensitive cancers, like prostate cancer, according to experts.

Joshua Safer, a professor of medicine and the executive director of the Mt. Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, said Lupron, or leoprolide acetate, is used for treating precocious puberty, infertility and certain types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is worsened by the presence of certain hormones, so people fighting this disease are sometimes given hormone blockers — puberty blockers — to slow the cancer’s progression.

“I think all they did is went into the FDA database and looked at reports,” Safer said. “There’s no study here, that’s just a big smorgasbord of reports and so the problem with that is you don’t even know that those deaths are connected to the agent they are reported to be connected to.”

Much more likely, Safer said, is that the 6,370 deaths over four decades the FDA lists as connected to this drug are in terminally ill cancer patients who are prescribed Lupron as a palliative, not curative, treatment.

“They wouldn’t even be using it if they weren’t at risk of death,” Safer said of the drug’s use in prostate cancer patients.

The American Cancer Association estimates that there are roughly 30,000 deaths from prostate cancer annually in the United States.