A constant theme in medicine over the past few years has been questioning whether routine screening for certain diseases is actually helpful. For the most part, the answer is surprising and counterintuitive no.
NBC s headline An aspirin every other day cuts colon cancer risk for women may be catchy,
To the Editor: Jane Brody was correct to advise us to continue to consume fiber, despite a recent Harvard study that found fiber not to be protective against colon cancer ("Keep the Fiber Bandwagon Rolling, for Heart and Health," July 20). The fact that this article was even necessary points out the perils of making unwarranted health claims. Unlike Ms. Brody's column, many reports about the Harvard study failed to put fiber into perspective. Consumers thus got the wrong message: that fiber isn't so important. How ironic, given that cereal makers were leading advocates of the as-yet unproven theory that fiber prevents colon cancer.
New York, NY, August 28, l998 Scientists at the American Council on Science and Health today criticized the Kellogg Company s full page advertisement touting the eating of Kellogg s All Bran as a means of reducing colon cancer risk. In making its claim for the cancer protection effect of its cereal, Kellogg points to the results of a recent laboratory animal study showing cancer protection linked to the consumption of a particular type of processed wheat bran.