People who choose to get alternative treatments for cancer tend to have everything else going for them - being happier, younger, wealthier, and more educated. 

Yet those who try to treat curable cancers with alternative medicines - including crystals and homeopathy - are 5.68 times more likely to die than people who get traditional treatments.

The alternative medicine business is booming in the US, where it is worth $34 billion, even though only a third of its 'treatments' have been tested.

But more highly-educated people may be sabotaging themselves by believing that they are smart enough to spot a real success story over snake oil instead of trusting doctors.

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