Verizon Now Pretending That 5G Will Help Cure Cancer

from the ill-communication dept

Fifth-generation wireless (5G) will be a good thing when it finally arrives at scale in a few years, in that faster, more reliable networks are always good. But at the same time, 5G’s capabilities have been comically over-hyped by cellular carriers and network hardware vendors looking to sell more cell phones and network hardware. Cellular carriers appear to be in a race to to broadly misrepresent not only what 5G is capable of–but where and when it will actually be available to the public at large.

Verizon, who has scolded other companies for over-hyping the technology, has been one of the biggest culprits in over-hyping 5G. On any given day Verizon’s executives and marketing efforts can be found claiming that 5G will revolutionize the planet, magically enabling the smart cities and smart cars of tomorrow. In recent months, the company’s marketing has proclaimed that 5G will somehow result in massive evolutionary leaps in medical technology, its ads going so far as to suggest that surgeons will soon be more accurate:

If you look at the replies to that Tweet, the message isn’t being received too well by the public. Most are curious why they’d trust any medical procedure to a cellular connection. And many more have wondered why anybody would put their life in the hands of a company recently busted throttling and upselling firefighters as they struggled to battle the biggest wildfire in California’s history. That’s not stopping Verizon, which has been running several video ads — replete with sad music — claiming that 5G will even revolutionize cancer treatment:

When you visit Verizon’s website to learn more, you’ll quickly find there’s not much there in the way of evidence supporting Verizon’s claims. Yes, faster, lower latency networks are good in general, but they alone won’t magically create new, innovative technology. And much of the stuff Verizon is hyping (like smart cars) can run just as well on 4G networks. The generational bump from 4G to 5G is more of a natural evolution than a revolution, and while the public will benefit — we’re not talking about some world-shaking paradigm shift.

As for 5G’s impact on medicine, when I spoke to an ER doctor last week about Verizon’s claims, he noted that 5G isn’t even likely to be widely used for hospital diagnostics or treatment, since the lion’s share of that technology will use existing hospital gigabit WiFi and Ethernet connections:

“Christian Dameff, an ER doctor and cyber security researcher at the University of California, San Diego, told Motherboard that hospitals generally utilize WiFi or Ethernet connections that already deliver the gigabit speeds and low latency that Verizon is advertising for 5G networks.

?The use of mobile connectivity such as 4G is rare in medical devices or diagnostic equipment because hospitals have traditionally relied on local connections as the primary architecture for their vast networks,? Dameff said. ?WiFi and Ethernet currently simplifies disparate system integration, scales better, and is the status quo over most of the healthcare industry in the United States.”

5G might have some application in remote diagnostics and treatment, but there too the revolutionary impact will be far more modest than Verizon suggests. Dameff argued that if Verizon really wanted to cure cancer, it would take money spent on ads over-hyping 5G, and actually donate that to cancer research:

“I do not see any significant cancer breakthroughs being dependent on 5G,? Dameff said. ?In my opinion, we should take the money spent on these well-produced commercials touting medical advantages of 5G and donate them to cancer research. That would help cancer patients more than 5G itself.”

Ultimately Verizon’s hype is a disservice to itself. By routinely overstating availability and capability, Verizon is associating 5G in the public’s mind with bluster and bullshit. That may help sell Luddite politicians on Verizon’s desired policy agendas in DC, but it won’t help Verizon in terms of its longer-term goal: accelerating stalled smartphone sales and the purchase of more expensive data plans.

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Companies: verizon

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Comments on “Verizon Now Pretending That 5G Will Help Cure Cancer”

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42 Comments
Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The truly ridiculous part about all this? There’s no such thing as "the cure for cancer," and never will be, because there’s no such thing as "the" cancer. There are a few hundred different types of cells in your body, and each has its own individual way of going haywire. (Some even have more than one different type of cancer!) Therefore, it’s exceedingly unlikely that any one treatment will ever be discovered that will wipe them all out.

Deputy Dickwad says:

Re: Re: Re:

As a person with POWER and The Cancer!!

Really, Really, Why? If Verizon, or Biden, or my man, even the Pussy Grabber-In-Chief (My Man!, wish he’d grab mine, I mean she’d hate it, but I’d post that vid!!!) has the cure for Cancer, like get rid of the damn constellation already, and I don’t want to talk about my crabs!!!

Let them unleash it! I mean "Make Cancer Horrible Again" I say!

Cause, like cancer & crabs, they both are sooper lame!!

Anonymous Coward says:

I would hope hospitals would invest in fibre and fast broadband if they
need to transmit alot of data ,rather than rely on wireless 5g.
Its clear that 5g will be mainly be avaidable in citys and urban area,s
,its unlikely it would be viable to provide fast 5g in all rural area,s
of america,
When there is not even basic 3g or cable broadband in many rural area,s
of america.
5g is broadcast of a different spectrum than 3g,
it requires a cell tower to be place about a mile from users .
So it will be alot more expensive to provide coverage than 3g networks .

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What’s with the comma,s? Are they eastern European apostrophes, tossed in due to a grammatical mishap?

The point’s a good one though… milimetre-wave 5G depends on a robust fibre optic backbone and tightly clustered broadcast towers to function; the rest of the "5G" network is really a 4G network with some of the optional features from 4G migrated to the "required" list. It’s all stuff that can already be done via 4G, or as AT&T likes to call it, "5G E".

Anonymous Coward says:

Because why wouldn’t you want the devices surgeons are using mid operation to be connected to the internet and subject to fully automated attempts bring them into a bot net?

I mean the stupid ideas of "air gap" (used to mean "physically do not conect" … before the days of having at least one wireless device on your person at all times) devices that a life critical to prevent interfence from other non-life critical devices, is such a 1990’s idea. It has no place in modern thinking.

Or I guess we could learn why good practice in the past were considered that…

Anonymous Coward says:

Hah. I don’t even trust setting up printers on wireless. Would absolutely refuse to setup something that critical on wireless, especially if latency is critical. That only way I would even think of using that as an option is if you are in the middle of nowhere. But then 5G won’t have the range to work there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I can tell my car is broken because it won’t start or the muffler drops off on the ground. That doesn’t mean I know how to fix it.

Detection is (relatively) easy. Figuring out how to cure it or prevent it? Not so much. Implying that the reason we haven’t figured out how to cure cancer but have come up with lots of ways to detect it is solely because of greed, is naive and ignorant in the extreme.

Also, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that it will cause cancer. If there was, the CDC, FDA, WHO, and probably a bunch of other organizations would be all over this. Not to mention, 5G is non-ionizing radiation (just like normal 3/4G and WiFi), which means it doesn’t damage cells and DNA that would lead to cancer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Do you seriously believe that there isn’t BIG money in the treatment of cancer?
Do you also believe that large pharmaceutical companies are interested in losing the federal funding and profits that they receive in treating cancer?
Do you not understand that repeatedly selling you a light bulb is far more profitable than selling you a single light bulb that last for 50 years?
I’m no doctor, but I’m sure that, currently, there exist ways to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells. This should be the goal of all anti-cancer research.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you seriously believe that there isn’t BIG money in the treatment of cancer?

I KNOW there is big money in the treatment of cancer, otherwise it wouldn’t cost so dang much to get treated for it. However that has ABSOLUTELY NO bearing on whether or not there exists a conspiracy to not find a cure for cancer because there’s bigger money in just continuing to treat it.

Besides, there’s a big difference between curing cancer and preventing it. Finding a cure means everyone who currently has cancer would still have to get treated for it (e.g. they are still going to be shelling out big money for treatments), it’s just that they would have an almost 100% survival rate. PREVENTING cancer means no one gets treated for it. While preventing cancer would be preferrable, it’s not likely to happen for a very long time, if ever.

Do you also believe that large pharmaceutical companies are interested in losing the federal funding and profits that they receive in treating cancer?

As I said, curing cancer doesn’t mean no one gets treated for it. The same number of people are still going to get treated for it before there was a cure as opposed to after a cure is found. Hell maybe even more people will get treated because it will be more effective with less negative side effects. Let me put it to you this way: Do you believe that the first company to discover the cure for cancer isn’t going to get insanely wealthy from it?

Do you not understand that repeatedly selling you a light bulb is far more profitable than selling you a single light bulb that last for 50 years?

Do you not understand that the LED bulb market has EXPLODED because they are so much better than a standard incandescent?

I’m no doctor

That much is painfully obvious.

I’m sure that, currently, there exist ways to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells.

Well you just said you weren’t a doctor so this statement is at best you not knowing what the hell you are talking about. Since you are so sure, you won’t mind telling us what these methods are then. Right?

If something like that actually existed, there’s no way it wouldn’t be making headlines all over the world.

This should be the goal of all anti-cancer research.

Umm, it is. What makes you think it isn’t?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Obviously I’ve struck a nerve. Cancer is nothing to be callous about. I’ve lost people to it as well.
Have you heard that Vitamin C infusions kill cancer cells?
Do you even believe it?
You’ll never hear that on the 6 o-clock news.
I’ll I’m saying is: since there’s so much $ in the treatment, the cure(s) and/or preventive measures (dietary or otherwise) will be purposefully hidden by the greedy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Obviously I’ve struck a nerve.

Yes, it generally irritates me when people make statements based on incorrect information and general ignorance of how science and technology work.

Cancer is nothing to be callous about.

And yet you make the statements you do.

Have you heard that Vitamin C infusions kill cancer cells?

I have. And I have also yet to see reliable studies and research that prove it to either be, 1) true, and 2) a viable treatment option for cancer patients.

Do you even believe it?

Let’s say I’m extremely skeptical based on available evidence.

You’ll never hear that on the 6 o-clock news.

Oh gee, an unproven, untested, likely to not be viable treatment option? I wonder why ever not?

I’ll I’m saying is: since there’s so much $ in the treatment, the cure(s) and/or preventive measures (dietary or otherwise) will be purposefully hidden by the greedy.

And "all" I’m saying is there is absolutely zero evidence to support that theory and in fact a lot of evidence to disprove it. I’ll ask this again: Do you believe that the first company to discover the cure for cancer isn’t going to get insanely wealthy from it?

Right now a cure for cancer is the holy grail of medical research. The person or company who finds it first is going to be insanely rich. There’s no reason NOT to pour money into finding it. And this is proved true by looking at the insane amounts of money that are devoted YEARLY to finding that exact thing.

I will admit that that doesn’t mean companies won’t try to milk treatments for all they are worth until a cure is found, but saying that that means they aren’t trying to find a cure and are actively trying to prevent a cure from being found is laughable in the extreme.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

As an addendum, your theory also doesn’t take into account the non-profit, independent research efforts that are at least decently funded who truly are trying to find a cure for cancer out of the goodness of their hearts. And while they have come up with some promising avenues of research lately, they have yet to discover the magic, silver bullet.

Wow, it’s almost like this is a difficult, complex problem that doesn’t have any easy answers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Vitamin C infusions have been used to kill cancer cells in patients.
See:
-Riordanclinic.org/journal-articles/
-also Google Dr. Thomas Levy’s wife’s remission of terminal stage 4 breast cancer
-google Linus Pauling

The thing about the truth is that you can take it or leave it, but you can’t change it. It stands with or without your consent. You’re just convinced that, because you haven’t seen it yet on TV/internet, there is no effective way to kill cancer cells other than what big pharma is selling. That’s fine. We all have been given free will.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Vitamin C infusions have been used to kill cancer cells in patients.

Really? I see no evidence of that, not even in the "evidence" you’ve given.

That first site you stated never said that it killed cancer cells, only that it had benefits for cancer patients, and even admitted that it was not a "cure" for cancer, merely another tool in the arsenal.

The Dr’s wife is an anecdote. There is no scientific or medical evidence that shows that vitamin C was responsible for her recovering from cancer and not some other mechanism.

Linus Pauling, while correct that vitamin C has benefits to the human body, was never able to show evidence suggesting it as an effective treatment for cancer. He advocated for it but actual evidence showed he was mistaken.

The thing about the truth is that you can take it or leave it, but you can’t change it. It stands with or without your consent.

Yes, it’s very sad that so many people like you choose to not accept well established truth and facts.

You’re just convinced that, because you haven’t seen it yet on TV/internet, there is no effective way to kill cancer cells

No, I’m convinced that there have been many studies on cancer treatments, including vitamin C, and not one of them has been able to conclusively prove or even remotely suggest that vitamin C kills cancer cells. They all agree that vitamin C has health benefits for the human body (including cancer patients), but it is NOT a cure for cancer, or an effective treatment. That is what I base my statements on, actual hard truth, not what I want to be true.

other than what big pharma is selling.

That is not true in the least. "Big pharma" didn’t come up with all of the treatment options out there today, some were discovered independently, and I personally know some people who took alternative routes to treating cancer.
However those alternative routes are still not 100% effective because I know other people who did the same thing and still died of cancer.

I’m convinced that someday we will find a way to cure cancer, but all the options we’ve discovered so far are not it. Some are generally effective most of the time, and there’s a lot of promising research, but NOBODY has found a fool proof 100% effective way to treat and cure cancer. Especially not vitamin C treatments. As your own articles and links show, it DOESN’T kill cancer cells.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Your theories about cancer research and treatments vs cures is kind of inverted.

Cancer research is research into figuring out how the various cellular cancers actually work, what triggers them, etc.

Pharma companies… THEY have little reason to develop and sell a cure. Except… cancer is not only not one thing (it’s a description of a cellular behavior), it’s also something that is dynamic. So a pharma company can sell you a cure for a particular cancerous outbreak, and you can develop it again in a few months. They’ve got their revenue stream.

Meanwhile, a total cure for cancer… not going to happen. Mutation is part of what has driven us as a species; "cure" it and it’ll just take one major viral/bacterial/fungal/etc. outbreak to wipe us out as a species.

Whether we like it or not, cancer is a biological feature.

Now CONTROLLING cancer, THAT is both desirable and lucrative. So if in an individual, cellular mutation is causing health issues, we can first identify this early, and second halt it. There’s probably also certain types of cancer that aren’t linked to any useful mutation defenses that we could prevent altogether through gene therapy, and various diseases that trigger cancerous growths that we can eliminate/prevent against.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ya sure on that non-ionizing radiation? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5339735/ and https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/10876/108760N/Variation-in-epigenetic-DNA-modifications-following-the-exposure-of-cells/10.1117/12.2508838.short?SSO=1
How about the idea of epigenetic changes leading to cancer – or must the only path be ionization? If there is no harm if it is non-ionizing then why these guidelines? https://www.icnirp.org/cms/upload/publications/ICNIRPemfgdl.pdf

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ya sure on that non-ionizing radiation?

QUITE sure. As stated in my post AND in those articles you linked, non-ionizing radiation does not damage cells or DNA that would cause cancer.

From that first link:

In conclusion, we report that ELF-MF exposure has no significant effect in a deterministic manner on the epigenetic landscapes of leukaemic and differentiating haematopoietic cells.

The idea of RF affecting epigentics is definitely something that should be studied but there currently exists no proof and very little (if any) evidence that it does, and quite a bit of evidence (including your own links) that says it’s fairly well harmless at the levels we are exposed to on a daily basis.

ECA (profile) says:

TL/DR

"finally arrives at scale in a few years, "

Explain SCALE???
Explain why the original system took 40 years to install? And will probably take 10+ more years to UPGRADE..not update, all the locations..
Explain to me how a Bill collector Corp is willing to Hire 100,000 workers to run around this country and fix things? But isnt willing to Run out with those 100,000 workers and get the FINAL MILE in cities installed, except to the Down Town HIGH paying corps..
Even Aftert he USA Gov has paid them to do it with Our money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Can't get service in a hospital, just me?

Am I the only one that can’t get a reliable signal inside of a hospital. Sheesh, those places are built to withstand hurricanes. I would think that operating rooms would be in the middle of a building where there’s pretty much a ZERO chance of getting a USABLE signal, let alone a damn 5G milimetre-wave signal.

Remember folks, the smaller the wavelength the harder it is to get a signal through walls and other "barriers"

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