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Biology Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

A study of overdiagnosis due to mammography reported during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I knew it. I just knew it. I knew I couldn’t get through October, a.k.a. Breast Cancer Awareness Month, without a controversial mammography study to sink my teeth into. And I didn’t. I suppose I should just be used to this now. I’m referring to the latest opus from H. Gilbert Welch and colleagues that […]

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine

Once more into the breach: The American Cancer Society publishes new mammography guidelines

One of the things that feels the weirdest about having done the same job, having been in the same specialty, for a longer and longer time is that you frequently feel, as the late, great Yogi Berra would have put it, déjà vu all over again. This is particularly true in science and medicine, where […]

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Cancer Medicine

War on cancer progress report, belated 2021 edition

The narrative we hear time and time again is that we are “losing the war on cancer”. The latest cancer statistics show that this narrative is not true.

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Does mammography save lives? A new study shows that this is a harder question than you might think

Mammography is a topic that, as a breast surgeon, I can’t get away from. It’s a useful tool that those of us who treat breast cancer patients have used for over 30 years to detect breast cancer in asymptomatic women and thus (or so we hope) decrease their risk of dying of breast cancer through […]

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Biology Cancer Medicine Science Skepticism/critical thinking

No, the PSA test probably didn’t save Ben Stiller’s life

A frequent topic of discussion on this blog is the concept of overdiagnosis. It’s a topic I’ve been writing about regularly since around 2007 or so and is defined as the detection in an asymptomatic person of disease that, if left alone, would never progress to endanger that person’s life or well-being within his or […]