Earlier this week, a new survey from the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed that belief in alternative cancer cures is common, with roughly four out of ten Americans believing that "natural" alternative treatments alone can cure cancer, without any conventional oncologic therapies, like chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. This survey points to just how ingrained misinformation about cancer is in our society and how much work advocates of science-based oncology have ahead of them to combat it.
Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.
From the viewpoint of hospital administration, patient satisfaction is increasingly the be-all and end-all of how doctors are evaluated, and it is assumed that patient satisfaction is highly correlated with quality of care. Unfortunately, patient satisfaction ≠ quality. A new study shows this very phenomenon in an outpatient setting.
ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is now complete and set to be formally adopted by WHO. Unfortunately, thanks to the influence of ideologues and the Chinese government, ICD-11 appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
Patients with cancer frequently use online crowdfunding to pay for trips to quack clinics. The Good Thinking has undertaken an investigation that is the first to suggest the extent of the problem. The question is: What to do about it?
In May JAMA published a negative study of acupucnture and in vitro fertilization. Dr. Carlo Giovanardi, a physician and leader in acupuncture in Italy, was not pleased. As acupuncturists frequently do, he is now making excuses.
Aromatase inhibitors are antiestrogen drugs frequently used to treat breast cancer. Unfortunately, they can cause significant joint pain. A recent study of acupuncture for joint pain caused by these drugs was basically negative, but the authors did their best to spin it as positive. Same as it ever was for acupuncture studies.
Two prominent advocates of "integrative medicine" bemoan the "practice drift" they see in their specialty, in which doctors drift farther and farther away from their training. What this means is (although it would never be admitted) is that these "integrative medicine" doctors are drifting further and further into quackery. Too bad this is a feature, not a bug.
The latest issue of the official journal of the European Atherosclerosis Society features a credulous article on traditional Chinese medicine. TCM is presented as a system of medicine whose use should "spread to Western societies." Sadly, the editors failed here, as the article consists of revisionist history, pseudoscience, and false equivalence.
Dr. Robin Berzin founded a concierge functional medicine practice, Parsley Health. Her practice is growing and has expanded to three major cities thus far, and she's begun a foray into pediatrics? Are holistic concierge medical practices the future of "integrating" quackery into medicine, be it functional medicine or other models?