Why nonsense by celebrity doctors ticks me off

Remember Hollie Quinn?

She’s the woman who parlayed her “breast cancer cure testimonial” into a book deal, even though she underwent conventional surgical therapy of her cancer. When criticized for this, she came up with an incredibly lame defense of her book. Well, she’s at it again. This time around, she’s touting thermography:

As we describe in our book, Hollie uses thermography for ongoing monitoring of her health, and not just for her breasts but for her entire body. She hasn’t had a mammogram in eight years, since her original diagnosis. Thermography isn’t perfect, but it meets our standards of being effective enough, and safe. No smashing your breasts here, or shooting carcinogenic radiation through them. And the thing we like best about thermography is that it can detect looming health problems well in advance, including conditions that are precursors to cancer, when you still have time to prevent them.


Uh, no. Not by a long shot. As I recently described, thermography does none of these things. At best it’s a technology that’s not ready for prime time when it comes to screening for breast cancer. At worst, it’s a technology that will never be ready for prime time as a screening modality. Moreover, there’s no convincing evidence that it can “detect looming health problems well in advance” with a sufficient level of specificity to be of use.

Guess whose recommendation of thermography for breast cancer screening impressed Hollie? Yep, Dr. Christine Northrup:

The future of cancer treatment won’t look anything like it does today, with harmful and marginally effective treatments and tools that don’t address the underlying causes of cancer, and this includes outdated diagnostic technologies like mammograms. As one recent sign of this trend, none other than the internationally renowned Dr. Christiane Northrup recently shared her thoughts about thermography

That’s right. That’s the very same twaddle by Dr. Northrup that I deconstructed in detail. It’s bad enough when random quacks promote thermography as an alternative to mammography, but when celebrity docs like Northrup promote it that way, the result can be women like Hollie Quinn relying on thermography instead of mammography and even MRI to detect recurrences. That’s why I get so worked up about celebrity idiots like Dr. Christiane Northrup.