Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Breast cancer screening ad campaign criticized

 

English: SAN DIEGO (Sept. 22, 2008) Lead Mammo...

English: SAN DIEGO (Sept. 22, 2008) Lead Mammography Technologist Carmen Waters, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Breast Health Center, assists a patient preparing for a mammography. In conjunction with NMCSDs pharmacy, the Breast Health Center has started a new program called “Mammograms While You Wait” which allows patients to take the exam while their prescriptions are being filled. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph Moon/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 


 

 

Komen adThe Komen Foundation’s ad campaign for breast cancer screening was criticized in a BMJ article by Dartmouth’s Steve Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz, who wrote: “Unfortunately, there is a big mismatch between the strength of evidence in support of screening and the strength of Komen’s advocacy for it.”

Take your pick of places to read more about it:

  • Susan Perry of MinnPost.com wrote: “The commentary is part of BMJ’s “Not So” series, which the editors call an “occasional series highlighting the exaggerations, distortions, and selective reporting that make some news stories, advertising, and medical journal articles ‘not so.'” I wish I could send MinnPost readers to the BMJ website to read it, but for reasons that are inexplicable to me, the journal has decided to keep this paper behind a paywall.

 

 

August 8, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment

Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer and Radiation From Medical Imaging

 

From the article abstract at Archives of Internal Medicine (9 July 2012)

[Full text is free at above link]

Susan G. Komen for the Cure asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to perform a comprehensive review of environmental causes and risk factors for breast cancer. Interestingly, none of the consumer products (ie, bisphenol A, phthalates), industrial chemicals (ie, benzene, ethylene oxide), or pesticides (ie, DDT/DDE) considered could be conclusively linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, although the IOM acknowledged that the available evidence was insufficient to draw firm conclusions for many of these exposures, calling for more research in these areas. The IOM found sufficient evidence to conclude that the 2 environmental factors most strongly associated with breast cancer were exposure to ionizing radiation and to combined postmenopausal hormone therapy. The IOM’s conclusion of a causal relation between radiation exposure and cancer is consistent with a large and varied literature showing that exposure to radiation in the same range as used for computed tomography will increase the risk of cancer. It is the responsibility of individual health care providers who order medical imaging to understand and weigh the risk of any medical procedures against the expected benefit.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists in the United States, asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to perform a comprehensive and evidence-based review of environmental causes and risk factors for breast cancer, with a focus on identifying evidence-based actions that women can take to reduce their risk.Environmental exposures were defined broadly to include all factors not genetically inherited, and the IOM committee appointed to write this report included academicians and chairs from departments of environmental health, toxicology, cancer epidemiology, preventive medicine, and biostatistics in addition to advocates for patients with breast cancer. Committee members conducted their own reviews of the peer-reviewed epidemiological and basic science literature, commissioned several papers specifically for their report, and drew on evidence-based reviews already completed by organizations such as the Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Cancer Research Fund International. The publication Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach was released online in December 2011.1

 

August 6, 2012 Posted by | environmental health | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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