Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.
Abortion and breast cancer: The manufactroversy that won’t die (David Gorski) Anti-abortion activists cite a few flawed studies to support their claim that abortions increase the risk of breast cancer, but a review of the whole body of evidence indicates that there is no increased risk.
Haiti (Peter Lipson) The disaster in Haiti is likely to result in widespread illness and death from vaccine-preventable illnesses like tetanus. It is hoped that anti-vaccine activists will not influence disaster-relief policies.
The Mythology of Larry Dossey (Kimball Atwood) Dr. Larry Dossey believes that only 10-20% of medical treatments are empirically proven and that medicine is the third leading cause of death. He believes in psi, ESP, the non-local mind, distant healing, and the power of premonition. Dr. Atwood shows that these are all myths.
e-Cigarette Safety (Steven Novella) e-cigarettes are being touted as a safer alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, but the evidence is lacking.
$10,000 reward not offered for scientific proof of supplements and alternative medicine therapies and effectiveness (Mark Crislip) A parody of the silly NaturalNews offer of $10,000 to anyone who can prove to the satisfaction of their impossible criteria that the H1N1 vaccines are safe and effective.
Big Placebo says Medicine never cures anything (Amy Tuteur) Big Placebo is the alternative health counterpart to Big Pharma: it is a $40 billion industry based on products that don’t work. Its claims that American medicine “cures nothing,” ignores prevention, and only suppresses symptoms is ludicrous.
Don’t Believe The Hype: Cholinesterase Inhibitors As A Treatment for Dementia (Val Jones) Drugs for dementia are not very effective; marketing hype has led to over-prescription..
You can’t hide in the herd (Joseph Albietz) Refusing vaccination and depending on the herd immunity of your vaccinated neighbors is not an effective strategy. For instance, unvaccinated children are 23 times as likely to develop whooping cough as vaccinated children.