Over the last couple of weeks, a claim that the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) shows that COVID-19 vaccines have caused a massive increase in cancer, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases in military personnel has gone viral. A closer look shows that the increases are almost certainly spurious and due to underreporting in previous years.
The narrative we hear time and time again is that we are "losing the war on cancer". The latest cancer statistics show that this narrative is not true.
There appeared to be an epidemic of melanoma skin cancer, but it seems to be a pseudoepidemic caused by overdiagnosis. Screening everyone with skin exams does more harm than good and can no longer be recommended.
Kidney cancer diagnoses are increasing but there has been no increase in mortality or rate of metastases. Kidney cancer is most often diagnosed as an incidental finding on a CT scan that was done for unrelated reasons. Treatment may not always be needed.
Osteoporosis is routinely treated with bisphosphonates to prevent fractures. A new study suggests that osteopenia should be treated too. But questions remain.
Autism Awareness Month isn't as full of news stories about autism with false balance between science and antivaccine pseudoscience advocates as it was in years past. Every few years, though, when new autism prevalence figures are released, we can count on antivaxers losing it. 2018 is just such a year.
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.