Tag: cancer

The sad but unexpectedly hopeful cancer saga of Cassandra Callender

I've frequently discussed the stories of teenagers with cancer who either refuse chemotherapy or whose parents refuse chemotherapy for them. The case of Cassandra Callender is the same, yet different, from many of these unfortunate and sad sagas in that she was older when diagnosed with cancer and that she realized her mistake. I can now only hope that it's not too...

/ June 19, 2017

Faking Peer-Review

A major cancer journal just retracted 107 papers for faking peer-review, bringing the total for that publisher to 450. How did this happen, and how do we prevent it in the future?

/ April 26, 2017

Contrary to what we are frequently told, we are not “losing the war on cancer”

A common narrative about cancer is that we are making no progress in our fight against it. Fortunately, the actual data do not agree. Yes, too many people still die of cancer and progress is slow, but it's not correct to claim that we are losing the war on cancer.

/ April 3, 2017

Did cannabis oil save Deryn Blackwell, the “boy in seven billion,” when his bone marrow transplant for two cancers was failing?

In a forthcoming book The Boy in 7 Billion, Callie Blackwell claims that cannabis oil, which she had started giving her son Deryn to relieve his symptoms during a bone marrow transplant for two cancers, actually saved his life when the bone marrow transplant appeared to be failing. Unfortunately, her story appears to be another testimonial that confuses correlation with causation.

/ March 27, 2017

“Chemotherapy is for losers”: A tragic tale of cancer, naturopathic quackery, and murder

When a patient and her family trust a naturopath rather than oncologists and oncologic surgeons, the result is often tragic. In this case, Fikreta Ibrisevic trusted naturopath Juan Sanchez Gonzalez instead of real doctors to treat her rhabdomyosarcoma in 2015. The results were as tragic as expected, and she died. What happened next was not expected and amplified the horror of the...

/ March 13, 2017

Why Do Things That Are Unlikely to Harm Us Get the Most Attention?

We are very bad at assessing risk, often giving the most attention to the things that are least likely to harm us. Geoffrey Kabat's new book teaches us how to think more clearly about scientific studies of environmental health risks.

/ February 28, 2017

Google delists Mike Adams’ Natural News website. Was it because of fake news?

Last week, in a surprise move Google delisted Mike Adams' Natural News website. Predictably, Adams immediately cried "Conspiracy!" and accused Google of punishing him for his support for "natural health" and Donald Trump. The truth appears to be that Adams violated one of Google's rules, leaving the question: What's the best way to fight fake news and fake medicine on the Internet?

/ February 27, 2017

“Detox”: Ritual purification masquerading as medicine and wellness

If the "central dogma" of alternative medicine is that wishing makes it so, one of the most important of the other organizing dogmas of alternative medicine is that "toxins," whether they come from inside or outside, are making us sick and that we can't be healthy until we "detoxify." This is far more a religious belief than a science-based one.

/ January 30, 2017

How reproducible is basic lab research in cancer biology?

Last week, a review of the reproducibility of several highly cited cancer biology papers was published. The results were mixed and demonstrate how difficult reproducing published results can be at times—and how scientists need to do better.

/ January 23, 2017

The Never-Ending Unchanging Story

NaturalNews.com is one of the most highly trafficked alternative medicine websites in existence. Even though its owner, Mike Adams, has become a rising star in the alt right and has also gone full conspiracy theorist à la Alex Jones, that doesn't mean he's given up promoting medical pseudoscience. He's still at it, this time continuing to make unsupported claims about fluoride in...

/ January 3, 2017