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Cancer Medicine Popular culture

A tourist finds breast cancer after a thermal scan at Camera Obscura. That doesn’t mean thermography works.

Bal Gill saw a hot spot on her breast on a thermal image she had taken at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh. This led her to see her doctor, who diagnosed breast cancer. Although a happy coincidence, this incident does not mean that thermography is an effective modality to detect occult breast cancer.

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Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Homeopathy Medicine Paranormal Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

John Horgan is “skeptical of skeptics,” or: Homeopathy and bigfoot versus cancer and the quest for world peace

Contrary to what some of my detractors think, I don’t mind criticism of my viewpoints. After all, if I never encounter criticism, how will I ever improve? On the other hand, there are forms of criticism that are what I would call less than constructive. One form this sort of criticism takes is obsessive repetition […]

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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 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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Cancer Medicine Politics Popular culture

The problem with mandatory breast density reporting laws

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about the intersection between the law and science in medicine. Sometimes, I support a particular bill, such as SB 277. Sometimes I oppose a bill, such as right-to-try or laws licensing naturopaths. The case I will discuss here is unusual in that it is a case of the […]