Year: 2014

Cancer cells spreading

“Atavistic oncology”: Another dubious cancer therapy to be avoided

An idea promulgated by physicist Paul Davies that cancer is a reversion to a primordial cell type has been making the rounds. It's even spawned a form of quackery, atavistic chemotherapy, promoted by Dr. Frank Arguello. Davies, in his hubris and his view of himself as an "outsider," seems to think he's the first scientist to have ever had this "brilliant insight,"...

/ July 28, 2014
Auschwitz

How “they” view “us” revisited: Mike Adams goes off the deep end

Internet crank and quack Mike Adams recently likened Monsanto and its supporters to Nazis, as he so frequently does when it comes to people and companies he hates. This time he went too far, echoing the sentiment that "“it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of...

/ July 27, 2014

Why People Continue to use SCAMs

I remain curious as to why people use, and continue to use, useless pseudo-medicines. I read the literature, but I find the papers unsatisfactory. They seem incomplete, and I suspect there are as many reasons people choose a pseudo-medicine as those use them. There are numerous surveys on what SCAMs people use. Designing and offering these surveys to every possible medical condition...

/ July 25, 2014

Food fights in the courtroom

What’s in a name? Will sugar by any other name taste as sweet? Well, yes, but calling sugar “evaporated cane juice” in an ingredient list may get food manufacturers into trouble. Consumers in several class action suits allege that companies are trying to disguise the amount of sugar in their products by calling it something else. Robin Reese filed a class action...

/ July 24, 2014

Another Lawsuit To Suppress Legitimate Criticism – This Time SBM

I suppose it was inevitable. In fact, I’m a bit surprised it took this long. SGU Productions, the Society for Science-based medicine, and I are being sued for an article that I wrote in May of 2013 on Science-Based Medicine. My SBM piece, which was inspired by an article in the LA Times, gave this summary: The story revolves around Dr. Edward...

/ July 23, 2014

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

We hear a lot about medical malpractice suits and how they affect the practice and the cost of medicine. Doctors sometimes get the feeling that a lawyer is looking over their shoulder as they interact with patients, and sometimes they practice “defensive medicine,” ordering unnecessary tests and doing what they think would look best in court rather than what is really in...

/ July 22, 2014
Right-to-try

The false hope of “right-to-try” metastasizes to Michigan

State "right-to-try" bills are springing up like kudzu all over the US. Their advocates promise that they will save lives by allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental therapeutics, when in fact they are highly unlikely to do any such thing given that the federal government, not the states, controls drug approval. In reality, right-to-try laws are a cruel sham that will...

/ July 21, 2014

Lemons and Lyme: Bogus tests and dangerous treatments of the Lyme-literati

It’s that time of year when every day I can expect to see at least one patient with a concern about Lyme disease. In Lyme-endemic regions such as Western Massachusetts, where I practice pediatrics, summer brings a steady stream of children to my office with either the classic Lyme rash (erythema chronicum migrans, or ECM), an embedded tick, a history of a...

/ July 18, 2014

NuVet: Pet Supplement Snake Oil

I’m a dog person. I always wanted a dog as a child, and while my extended family all had dogs, we never had one in our home. I finally got my wish just over a decade ago. My wife and I were referred to a breeder with an excellent reputation for raising healthy, family-friendly Labrador Retrievers. Within moments of meeting a tiny...

/ July 17, 2014

Acupuncture for Menopausal Symptoms

A newly published meta-analysis of studies looking at acupuncture for symptoms resulting from natural menopause (not drug or surgically induced) by Chiu et. al. is entirely negative. That is not what the authors or the press release conclude, however. This disconnect between the study results and the interpretation of those results is a persistent problem in medicine generally to some degree, but...

/ July 16, 2014