Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
Updated: 1 min 41 sec ago
Antioxidants have gotten a lot of press here on SBM; this post digs a little deeper into the basic science of antioxidants, and the importance of understanding more than just one part of a complex biological system before you interfere with it.
The Integrative Oncology Scholars Program: Indoctrinating the next generation of “integrative oncology” believers
"Integrative oncology" involves "integrating" pseudoscience, mysticism, and quackery with science-based oncology and co-opting science-based lifestyle modalities as "alternative" in order to provide cover for the quackery. Unfortunately, my alma mater, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is running a course to indoctrinate 100 health care professionals in the ways of "integrative oncology." The Trojan horse of "lifestyle interventions" and "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain" is at the gates. The quackery will leap out as soon as it's in the fortress.
The flu season is upon us, as is the first pediatric death. A polio-like illness is spreading, and experts are baffled. Kids probably shouldn't be around giant spinning metallic blades. Magic tape! You guessed it, another miscellany of medical malarkey has risen from the grave.
Supplements are a billion-dollar business, but quality control is questionable. A new study shows that supplements may be adulterated with unlabelled prescription drugs.
Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper.
Stanislaw Burzynski has been selling a dubious treatment known as antineoplastons to desperate cancer patients since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, there are those who are all too willing to promote the myth of a Brave Maverick Doctor who can cure cancer. Several years ago, it was Eric Merola. Now it's Uchenna Agu, a reality TV star turned producer. He plans on making a reality docuseries featuring patients "cured of cancer" by Burzynski. Worse, local Houston station KHOU-TV promoted his project on its morning show Great Day Houston.
Breast cancer thermography is being promoted across Canada as a reliable and effective way of identifying breast tumors. There is no evidence thermography is actually capable of doing so.
Unless forced to do so, the state and federal governments will continue to base law and policy on bad science. Maybe it's time for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to science."
The opioid crisis and growing awareness of the dangers of addiction to pain medication are prompting renewed calls for the use of pill placebos in place of active treatments, backed by familiar claims about the magical powers of the placebo.
The AAFP is not following its own standards for CME. Its monograph on Musculoskeletal Therapies devotes 1/4 of its content to acupuncture, dry needling, and cupping; and one of its four "key practice recommendations" is to consider electroacupuncture for fibromyalgia.
Cancer is a complex set of diseases. I commonly discuss complexities in its biology and treatment. However, there's another layer of complexity that leads to marked disparities in cancer incidence and death rates. One major factor associated with such disparities is socioeconomic status.
Can vigorous adjustment of the neck cause direct injury to your eye? Probably, but I don't know. This is based on a single case report. Still, I wouldn't take the chance. And why do I keep mentioning dugongs?
You can vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease, but there's no vaccine for humans. Why?
The World Health Organization fails its primary function by promoting traditional quackery.
More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don't cause autism.
Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.
Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?
AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices
For public's health and safety, AAFP should publish research behind finding that functional medicine lacks evidence, contains harmful and dangerous practices.
While there is strong evidence that breast is best, a new study suggests that the benefits have been overstated, and may be mostly due to non-specific factors such as better education and overall health care.
Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot!