A Desperate Choice

A therapy for brain tumors in young children involves deliberately infecting them with a virus. Scary, and is it worth it? In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine I read about a novel possibility for treating cancer that I had not been aware of. The study’s title was “Oncolytic DNX-2401 Virus for Pediatric Diffuse Intrinsic

100% Cure Rate Is Hard to Believe

An experimental cancer drug made 100% of rectal cancers disappear in a small trial, allowing subjects to avoid the standard treatment of chemotherapy and surgery . “Some scientists say these kinds of results have never been seen in the history of cancer research.” 100% is hard to believe; the 95% confidence interval was 74 to 100. Whatever the true

The Role of Liquid Biopsies in Oncology

Liquid biopsies can be used to reduce the amount of chemotherapy used for patients with stage II colon cancer. When a patient has cancer, cell-free tumor DNA circulates in the blood and can be detected in a peripheral blood sample. This is known as a “liquid biopsy,” and it has become a routine practice in

A review of Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill? How Electricity and Magnetism Affect Our Health, by Bradley J. Roth

Bradley Roth is a retired physicist and acknowledged expert in electromagnetism who co- authored the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology. In this new book, Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill?, he shares his knowledge and understanding with the general public. The book asks a number of questions about electricity, magnetism, and health claims, starting with unchanging

So-Called Alternative Medicine for Cancer

Edzard Ernst’s new book on alternative medicine for cancer addresses cancer prevention, treatment, and palliative care. It is an invaluable, accessible guide to the evidence for each modality Edzard Ernst definitely knows what he’s talking about. The world’s first professor of complementary medicine, he headed a research team that conducted dozens of clinical trials, did

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

Should We Avoid Dairy Out of Fear of Cancer?

A doctor is adamant about avoiding dairy because IGF-1 allows cancer cells to multiply. I think he’s relying on speculation and an over-abundance of caution. Healthy food or carcinogen? Opinions differ. A neighbor told me, “one of my doctors was very adamant about not consuming dairy because the growth factor creates the right environment for

Australian Naturopath Barbara O’Neill Banned for Her Dangerous Health Advice

Naturopath Barbara O’Neill has been banned in Australia for spreading dangerous lies about health. Sodium bicarbonate. Good for baking, but not for curing cancer. On 24 September 2019, the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) issued a Permanent Prohibition Order against Barbara O’Neill. Their investigation showed that she had breached five clauses of the Code

Kidney Cancer and Incidentalomas

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. In the February 1, 2019 issue of American Family Physician, there is an

A Refreshing Take on Dealing with Cancer

Book review of Persevere: A Life with Cancer, by Lisa Bonchek Adams. This book is a gem. Lisa Bonchek Adams was an atheist, a realist, and a talented writer and poet. Before her recent death from breast cancer, she shared her experience and her insights with the world in the form of blogs and poems.

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