Medicine, like the science that underlies it, is seldom transformed by “Eureka” breakthroughs; rather, it is most often a process of systematically accumulating knowledge and making incremental advances. Radiation treatment for breast cancer is a good example: New data has enabled us to revise and improve old approaches.
There are plenty of reasons for skepticism about medical studies. Some are poorly designed or performed, and some conclusions are totally implausible. In addition, some interpretations of them are intentionally misleading, and some studies need not have been done at all.
Many people are being misled by false claims that induce them to pay inflated prices for products that are “free from” various things that are actually beneficial, or for worthless remedies. Misinformation can jeopardize both their health and finances.
Thinking about – let alone making plans for – end-of-life provokes anxiety. When we cannot speak on our behalf, our surrogates and loved ones must be called upon to do so. A new study reports that the surrogate’s role on our behalf may be lost in the translation between thought and deed.
One of our nation’s greatest public health achievements of the 20th century was drinking water disinfection, which was key in eliminating cholera and typhoid as leading disease killers in the US. Waterborne diseases worldwide remain a significant problem. What waterborne diseases still bedevil us, and what is to be done?
Personalized, or precision, medicine applied to cancer treatment has its origins in studies of human genetics and the genetic mutations found in different cancers. A variety of personalized treatments continue to make advances in increasing patients' longevity and quality of life.
Medicine aims to identify social determinants of health (SODH) and level the playing field of outcomes so that we all receive equitable care. But measuring disparities is not as easy as it might seem. A meta-analysis of prostate surgery suggests more equality than disparity.
Is it really asking too much to have a few weeks of microbiological peace? Apparently, it is. Just as we are finally chucking the masks, upchucking is waiting in the wings. There are some signs of a bad norovirus ("stomach flu") season. Lovely.
The traditional view of air pollution is that of bad stuff in the air produced by someone else, the ubiquitous “them.” Recent concerns about indoor air quality may have broadened that view to realize that some “others” may be us. A recent article in the journal Nature proclaimed, “Local and national governments must ensure that good indoor air quality is delivered….” posing the question, delivered by whom? Amazon pristine?
Long COVID remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. It wants so hard to be a disease but remains a syndrome, a collection of ill-defined signs and symptoms. Can Big Data help Long COVID and its sufferers separate themselves from other viral infections? A new study tries.
More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for organ transplants, and due to a shortage of hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys, at least 17 die each day.  There are high-tech and policy interventions that could alleviate the shortages, and we need them now.
The VA wants to allow optometrists to perform some eye surgery on veterans. That's like letting the technician who changes oil at the local drive-through Oil Pal do a tune-up on a $200,000 Lamborghini.