Science-Based Medicine

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Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

ASCO endorses the integration of quackery into breast cancer care

June 18, 2018 - 3:00am
In 2014, the Society for Integrative Oncology first published clinical guidelines for the care of breast cancer patients. Not surprisingly, SIO advocated "integrating" dubious therapies with oncology. Last week, the most influential oncology society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), endorsed a 2017 update to the SIO guidelines, thus endorsing the "integration" of quackery with oncology and paving the way for insurance coverage. The advance of quackademic medicine in oncology continues apace.
Categories: Science

Anti-Vaccine Hotspots are Getting Hotter

June 15, 2018 - 7:00am
More parents are seeking to avoid childhood vaccinations in states that allow nonmedical exemptions. These "hotspots" of decreasing vaccination rates, some of which include large urban cities, are likely locations for future outbreaks of preventable disease.
Categories: Science

So-Called Alternative Medicine

June 14, 2018 - 9:00am
Edzard Ernst calls it "So-Called Alternative Medicine". This insider's view of SCAM is a new book from an prolific researcher and author.
Categories: Science

Halotherapy – The Latest Spa Pseudoscience

June 13, 2018 - 7:53am
Halotherapy, sitting in a salt room, is the latest spa trend, just as full of pseudoscience and false claims as we have come to expect from wellness spas.
Categories: Science

Do Sunscreens Cause Cancer?

June 12, 2018 - 3:00am
Elizabeth Plourde thinks sunscreens cause cancer rather than preventing it. She blames sunscreens for everything from coral reef die-offs to autism. Neither her evidence nor her reasoning stand up to scrutiny.
Categories: Science

Science-based medicine versus other ways of knowing

June 11, 2018 - 3:04am
It has been our position that science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient knowledge from other cultures and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?
Categories: Science

Chiropractic Pediatrics: “delayed referral, misdiagnosis, adverse events and ineffective treatments”

June 7, 2018 - 1:00am
A study finds "delayed referral, misdiagnosis, adverse events and ineffective treatments" in chiropractic management of pediatric orthopedic conditions. States should act to prevent this harm to children.
Categories: Science

Health Effect of Wind Turbines

June 6, 2018 - 8:17am
What are the health effects of living close to wind turbines? The answer is, probably not much, but definitive data is elusive.
Categories: Science

Fake News about Fish Oil

June 5, 2018 - 3:00am
An ad for the dietary supplement Omega Rejuvenol is disguised as a news story. It makes claims that are not supported by evidence.
Categories: Science

Right-to-try is now law. Let patients beware!

June 4, 2018 - 3:08am
Last week, President Trump signed the worst federal right-to-try bill under consideration by Congress into law. Its purpose was never to help terminally ill patients, and now that it's law there will be nothing the FDA can do to protect vulnerable terminally ill patients who choose it. That's a feature, not a bug.
Categories: Science

Is Firing Vaccine-Hesitant Families Unfair? Definitely…I think.

June 1, 2018 - 7:00am
Is the dismissal of vaccine-hesitant families from a pediatric practice unethical? Could it be unfair to other pediatric healthcare providers and increase risk to the community? Three medical ethicists who wrote a recent JAMA Pediatrics opinion piece believe so.
Categories: Science

Are generic drugs equivalent to brand-name drugs?

May 31, 2018 - 9:00am
Generic drugs cost a fraction of brand-name drugs. What gives us confidence they are equivalent? Science.
Categories: Science

Routine Vitamin Supplementation Mostly Useless

May 30, 2018 - 8:07am
A new meta-analysis shows no benefit from multivitamins or routine supplementation. These results should motivate users to take a fresh look at their supplementation.
Categories: Science

Mosconi’s Brain Food Diet

May 29, 2018 - 3:00am
Mosconi offers a plan to prevent and treat Alzheimer's and maximize cognitive function in everyone. She claims brain health requires a unique diet, but she fails to make her case. Some of what she says is good standard health advice, but the rest is speculative, not based on good scientific evidence, and sometimes demonstrably wrong.
Categories: Science

CEASE therapy for autism: Homeopathic quackery and “self regulation” by naturopathic boards

May 28, 2018 - 10:15am
Naturopathy is quackery. If you doubt this, consider that you can't have naturopathy without homeopathy. What's even worse is when naturopaths subject autistic children to quackery like CEASE therapy. Expecting any naturopathic regulatory board to investigate quackery in naturopathy is the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.
Categories: Science

Legislative Alchemy: Michigan naturopathic licensing bill passes Senate

May 24, 2018 - 1:00am
A bill granting naturopathic doctors one of the broadest scopes of practice in the country passed in the Michigan Senate. If enacted, the egregious quackery already being practiced by Michigan naturopaths will bear the imprimatur of state approval and rectifying harm to consumers will become much harder.
Categories: Science

Death from Cancer Quackery – Black Salve Edition

May 23, 2018 - 8:18am
An Australian nurse dies of cancer while being treated by a cancer quack with a caustic substance known as black salve. How and why is this allowed to happen?
Categories: Science

A Feast of Science

May 22, 2018 - 3:00am
Dr. Joe Schwarcz's new book is a banquet of easily digested, fascinating information about chemistry, history, science, alternative medicine, critical thinking, and current trends. It entertains as it informs.
Categories: Science

The very worst version of the sham known as “right-to-try” is poised to become law

May 21, 2018 - 3:00am
"Right-to-try" laws are a cruel sham that purport to allow terminally ill patients access to promising experimental drugs. In reality, they strip away many protections and leave vulnerable patients on their own. After four years and a number of toothless state laws, a federal version of "right-to-try" is poised to become law. A version passed by the Senate could be voted on in the House as early as tomorrow and is the worst version under consideration. Unfortunately, it is likely to pass. If it does, this federal version of "right-to-try" will leave terminally ill patients on their own and will likely be the first step in returning the FDA to its pre-thalidomide state, in which it only required evidence of safety, not efficacy, to approve drugs.
Categories: Science

A Canadian Journalist Calls Out Pediatric Chiropractic, and a Chiropractor Responds

May 18, 2018 - 7:00am
A recent National Post article calls chiropractic care of the infant and young child into question for some very good reasons, none of which were effectively rebutted by the Canadian Chiropractic Association president.
Categories: Science