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Clinical trials Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking Surgery

Do negative clinical trials change practice?

One of the central themes of this blog from the very beginning is that all medicine, regardless of where it comes from or how it was developed, should be held to a single science-based standard with regards to efficacy, effectiveness, and safety. I tend to focus primarily on “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), now more […]

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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Movies Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

The quack view of preventing breast cancer versus reality and Angelina Jolie, part 2

After yesterday, I really hadn’t planned on writing about Angelina Jolie and her decision to undergo bilateral mastectomies again, except perhaps as a more serious piece next week on my not-so-super-secret other blog where The Name of the Doctor is revealed on a weekly basis. As I mentioned yesterday, there are a number of issues […]

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Medicine Politics Popular culture Science

Is "value-based' health insurance really "value-based" or is it just an excuse to make patients pay more?

And now for something completely different… Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to find new woo-filled claims or dangerous, evidence-lacking trends to write about. Heck, I did it just last week. Examining certain other health-related issues from a science-based perspective is more difficult, but I feel obligated to do it from time to time, not just […]

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Cancer Clinical trials Medicine

No, the New York Times did not “kill your patient.”

One of the more depressing things about getting much more interested in the debate over how we should screen for common cancers, particularly breast and prostate cancer, is my increasing realization of just how little physicians themselves understand about the complexities involved in weighing the value of such tests. It’s become increasingly apparent to me […]

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Cancer Medicine

Cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment revisited

I think the message may finally getting through. That message is that it’s not always the best strategy to treat cancer aggressively. Don’t get me wrong. If I have acute leukemia, I know I’ll need the big guns, every bit of chemotherapy appropriate to the disease that modern oncology can throw at it up to […]