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-woo in medicine.
Yes, Chris beat cancer, but it wasn’t quackery that cured (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chris-beat-cancer/ Most claims of alternative cancer cures are based on misunderstandings. Chris Wark claims to have cured himself of stage 3 colon cancer with nutrition and natural therapies after he had surgery but refused chemotherapy. The truth is that with surgery alone, his odds of surviving 5 years were around 64%, and that amounts to a cure, since those cancers seldom recur after 5 years. With adjuvant chemotherapy, he would have increased his odds of 5 year survival by 12-16%. It was surgery, not natural therapies, that beat his cancer,.
Chiropractic Education for Primary Care (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chiropractic-education-for-primary-care/The NHUS is training chiropractors to become primary care physicians. A study of diagnostic categories for patients seen in their teaching clinic purported to show that their training is adequate preparation for that role, but in reality it shows just the opposite.
Monochloramines in Tap Water (Steven Novella) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/monochloramines-in-tap-water/ Expensive home water filtration systems are being promoted with scaremongering about cancer-causing contaminants in tap water, particularly monochloramine, a disinfectant that produces fewer harmful byproducts than chlorine. The dose makes the toxin, and monochloramines have been used safely by water utilities for 90 years in carefully regulated amounts. There is no evidence that the filtration systems have any health benefits.
Integrative Medicine’s Collateral Damage (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/integrative-medicines-collateral-damage/ Integrative medicine is a growing enterprise that combines the practice of medicine with alternative medicine. It has financial benefits for those who offer it, but there is no good evidence that it improves patient outcomes. Integrative medicine keeps the entire alternative medicine industry afloat, resulting in collateral damage.
Scam Stud (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/scam-stud/ The blogger Food Babe rejects vaccines for all kinds of wrong-headed, reality-free reasons that demonstrate her ignorance and gullibility. Essentially, she takes a complex and nuanced topic and distills it down to an aliquot of pure error. Virtually every piece of information in her post is wrong.