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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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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Another reminder that there is no autism epidemic

One of the core beliefs of the antivaccine movement is that there is an “autism epidemic.” The observation that autism prevalence has been climbing for the last two to three decades led some parents with autistic children to look for a cause, specifically an environmental cause, for autism. Because several vaccines are given in the […]

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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 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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Medicine

Uncertainty versus certainty in the mammography wars

As I write this, I am winging my way home from the 2014 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR, Twitter hashtag #AACR14) in San Diego. (OK, I’m revising this to fit the format and, of course, the Insolence of this particular blog. Shockingly, I didn’t have as much time to blog in […]