Melanoma: A Pseudoepidemic of Skin Cancer Prompts New Screening Recommendations

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. This lesion was suspicious enough to warrant a biopsy, but screening everyone for skin cancer is not warranted. Screening

Self Esteem Is Overrated

Most people believe that fostering self-esteem in children will have many benefits, from happiness to better school performance, but that belief is not supported by the evidence. We are encouraged to reward children and not punish them, to praise them not only for real accomplishments but also for trivial successes and even failures (“everybody’s a

Is Midstream Urine Collection Necessary?

There’s considerable evidence that the standard procedure for urine specimens, with cleansing and mid-stream collection, may not be necessary. Is it time to change? In November 2020, I reviewed Paul Offit’s book about when doctors refuse to believe evidence. I have just become aware of another example. The evidence for diagnosing urinary tract infection (UTI) by the

Statin Side Effects Revisited

Patients on statins frequently report muscle pain and other side effects, but controlled studies have shown side effects are not more frequent than with placebo. Why this discrepancy? A new study sheds some light. His muscles hurt. Is it from statins or some other cause? Something strange is going on. People who take statins frequently

Wim Hof, the Iceman

Wim Hof, the Iceman, is extraordinarily resistant to extreme cold. His Wim Hof Method (WHM) combines breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation. Hyperventilation has been shown to reduce the body’s response to inflammation, but Hof’s extravagant claims of health benefits are not supported by scientific evidence. Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman”, is a

Adele’s Sirtfood Diet

I recently got an email newsletter from TRC Natural Medicines. One of the articles was “Understanding the Hype Behind Adele’s Sirtfood Diet.” It’s brief enough to quote in its entirety:   “English singer-songwriter Adele has made headlines in recent months for her dramatic weight loss. You might start getting questions about the diet she followed—it’s called the

Meet the Psychologists

In this book, you will meet 16 of the most prominent people in psychology in conversational interviews that reveal their thoughts about the current state of psychology and its future. Enlightening and entertaining.  Psychology is more popular than ever, but it has been criticized for scandals involving fraud, failed replications, and assisting torture. Many people

Salonpas

Salonpas is an over-the-counter topical NSAID used to treat pain. It’s probably safe and might be worth trying for minor pain, but the effect is small and the advertising is more hype than substance. Do you get annoyed when the media keep repeating the same commercials? I do. And recently I’ve been particularly annoyed by

Melatonin

Melatonin supplements are increasingly popular, but the evidence is weak and mixed. Will taking a melatonin supplement put you to sleep?I don’t understand how Facebook’s algorithms work; but I wonder if they have gotten the false impression that I suffer from insomnia, since I have recently been bombarded with information about a multitude of natural

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