The Sound Of Settled Science

| 21 Comments


21 Comments

When I heard that the cancer society was raising the amount they spent on fundraising while decreasing spending on research I realized that the top dogs were running a machine more complex than their abilities. Everyone, given that they live long enough, gets cancer of one kind or another, regardless of risk factors or personal behaviour. Very few die of natural causes in old age with no cancerous growth somewhere in their body. JMHO.

Here's another. Globe and Mail, Thursday, July 2.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/examining-citrus-fruit-consumption-and-skin-cancer/article25218827/

"Using data from two long-term studies of women and men, researchers found a potential link between citrus consumption and malignant melanoma of the skin."

"Those who ate citrus two to four times a week had a 10 per cent increased risk of melanoma, compared with people who ate citrus less than twice a week."

Several caveats, quite plausible, but still. The advocates of "evidence-based" science will be even more befuddled than usual, with the evidence changing all the time and with lots of room for interpretation.

Bayesian statistical analysis of these data show that breast cancer screening is worthless.

This is old news in Canada. When it was first made known that mammography had NO statistical difference in outcomes, the usual fat suspects started screaming about the healthcare war on women. When one man suggested that the same policy regarding psa tests be applied to mammography, well, the shitestorm went feral.

and then there is the interesting correlation that women are being diagnosed with breast cancer much earlier and those who are diagnosed are living longer...

Does this mean medical testing/screening,aka,looking for trouble in healthy people with no symptoms should be stopped?

Not that many years ago people only visited a doctor when they were sick and there was no such thing as mammoggraphy or PSA tests, routine blood tests or a complete annual physical workup. Of course the comeback on this is they didn't live as long, however many did live well into old age.

There used to be a doctor who hosted a radio show in Edmonton who advised people to avoid going to their doctors unless they were sick. His explanation was that the Drs are trained to look for something wrong and if they can't find something wrong they will make something wrong.

When the years one survives after a cancer diagnosis are due to earlier diagnosis - you're not living longer.

Lysenkoism seems to be rampant in the medical research field.

So now eating citrus fruit causes cancer? If you even try to follow the Health Canada guide

And then we have the nitwit council in Redmonton going vegan.

Our society is increasingly going bananas.

Essentially shows that breast cancer screening is useless. Usually, after I'd have a woman come in for a physical and she'd ask for a mammogram, I'd see the husband shortly afterwards (men only come in when there's a woman in their life to send them to a doctor) and they'd ask about getting a PSA to screen for prostate cancer. They'd also ask how good a test it was and my standard reply was that it was about as usefull as mammography to detect breast cancer ie close to useless. A few of the more astute men clued in immediately but still got their PSA tested anyway - likely to ensure domestic tranquility after their wives had undergone mammography.

My gut feeling has always been that screening mammography should be replaced with a much cheaper stochastic decision making device (flipping a coin) to determine which woman gets a mammogram and which one doesn't. Having kept track of the few women I've seen with early breast cancer over the last few decades, I've seen far higher sensitivity and specificity for women who come in suspecting something is amiss with a breast or incidental abnormalities felt by the womans husband or boyfriend in a breast. What I have seen with screening mammography is a huge amount of anxiety over abnormal mammograms and complications from breast biopsies which, at the end, turned out to be benign.

Women with strong family histories of breast cancer and who have risk factors should get mammograms but for the vast majority of women they are a waste of medical resources.

Back when they claimed that silicon breat inplants were cuasing brest cancer turned out to be a junk science but not before some greedy trial lawyers made a crooked profit

"............the usual fat suspects started screaming about the healthcare war on women."

Health care war on women?!

How I usually respond to these screeching harpies is to challenge them to take a look at funding for medical research regarding and contrasting breast cancer and prostate cancer. The cold water of logic and fact usually shuts up thinking people, but to these bloody idiots when doused with such, they just scream louder.

I recall the few articles over the last few years pointing out this same statistic (not this precise study, but ones showing very similar results) and of course the protestariat were out in numbers about 'the man' and everything.

Meanwhile, a few articles were published as well recommending men under a certain age (I think 45?) not to bother getting a PSA for the same reasons as with breast cancer, and the comment lightout was far lighter, with nary a negative tone to be heard.

Really makes you wonder if one type of cancer has lots of gimme grant money that absolutely everyone and her bank fundraises for and another doesn't...

Rather than proving screening is worthless doesn't this mean that the treatments don't work?

I don't know that this necessarily follows. Many women have breast cancer treatment and clearly extended lifespans as a result. What's in question is whether early screening and diagnosis has an effect on success rates. It may just be that some breast cancers are more treatable than others, whether they're caught early or not.

Questions remain: Did the women whose breast cancer was found through the screenings receive earlier treatment, and did they live longer as a result? Many people will eventually die of cancer but some treatments do provide more years of life--as has happened to several of my friends.

As I have said for years; "Run FROM the cure". Anybody here ever heard of Ralph Moss? PS the same ideology is pushing vaccines using the same bogus stats.

My sister, now age 67, had a regular checkup at age 55. Her family doctor noticed a pea sized lump which turned out to be malignant. They took out the lump, treated with radiation, and she has been fine ever since.

As a 60 year old woman who has avoided mammograms my whole life I am glad to read this article.
My own personal thoughts are that exposing sensitive tissue like breast tissue to recurrent high doses of radiation is a prescription for disaster. Radiation can be a cause of cancer so why would you not expect repeated mammograms to contribute to breast cancer?
One also has to wonder if the repeated chest x-rays we had as children as screening for TB did not contribute to this "epidemic" of breast cancer.

The other factor that may have influenced and increase in the disease is the widespread use of hormone usage in women from Birth Control Pills to Hormone Replacement Therapy. I think a very interesting study would be to do a long term study on women who have used BCP and HRT and compare them to women who have not used these compounds and see if there is a difference in the incidence of life threatening breast cancer. I am sure the Pharmaceutical Industry is in no hurry to do such a study.

I am just going by my observations. When I look anecdotally at the small town I grew up in Breast cancer was almost non existent in my mother generation (born in the 1920). What has changed?

So where is the statistic for women that were diagnosed with cancer and didn't die? I think there is something seriously wrong with this chart.

Leave a comment

Archives

November 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      

Recent Comments

  • Mike Bradford: So where is the statistic for women that were diagnosed read more
  • Rita: As a 60 year old woman who has avoided mammograms read more
  • Ken (Kulak): My sister, now age 67, had a regular checkup at read more
  • peter: As I have said for years; "Run FROM the cure". read more
  • rita: Questions remain: Did the women whose breast cancer was found read more
  • Kate: I don't know that this necessarily follows. Many women have read more
  • james: Rather than proving screening is worthless doesn't this mean that read more
  • Ryan: I recall the few articles over the last few years read more
  • Harkov: "............the usual fat suspects started screaming about the healthcare war read more
  • spurwing Plover: Back when they claimed that silicon breat inplants were cuasing read more