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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 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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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 […]

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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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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 […]