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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 Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

The “war on cancer”: We’re doing better than commonly portrayed

If you were to rely on much of what you see in the mainstream media and on social media, you probably have the impression that we are not doing very well against cancer. Indeed, a common trope I see in a lot of articles is that we are somehow “losing” the war on cancer. Just […]

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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Sayer Ji: Willfully misunderstanding overdiagnosis and misdiagnosis since…forever

If there’s one lesson that I like to emphasize while laying down my near-daily dose of Insolence, both Respectful and not-so-Respectful, it’s that practicing medicine and surgery is complicated. Part of the reason that it’s complicated is that for many diseases our understanding is incomplete, meaning that physicians have to apply existing science to their […]

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Medicine

How overdiagnosis produced a nonexistent “epidemic” of thyroid cancer in Fukushima

One of my favorite topics to blog about over the last six or seven years has been the topic of overdiagnosis and overtreatment. These are two interrelated phenomena that most people are blissfully unaware of. Unfortunately, I’d also say that the majority of physicians are only marginally more aware than the public about these confounders […]

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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 […]