Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

Hormones, breast cancer and other medical misconceptions

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

News flash.  Medicine is not perfect.  A few years ago, I finished my advice to a patient by saying, I might be wrong.  She sarcastically said she was going to go straight home and call her doctor son-in-law to give him the news. “A doctor said he might be wrong. Who knew?”

Reading the recent news about colonoscopies made me think of this.  Why do we need scientific studies to document that therapies work?  Because we can’t rely on our intuitions and preconceived notions.  Every diagnostic test and treatment needs to be scrutinized objectively.  Even the ones we’re sure of.

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

Who decides these things?  I don’t know, but it any time is good to be aware of breast cancer.  This year there will be an estimated 182,460 newly diagnosed cases in women and 1,990 in men.  40,480 women will die along with 450 men.

Catching the disease early will significantly increase your risk of survival and cure.  How do you do this?  There has been some controversy, this year on performing self-breast exams.

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MRI detected Christina Applegate’s breast cancer. Her diligence may have saved her life.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Christina Applegate, age 36, is a role model for women regarding breast cancer detection. Although details are not available, she apparently caught it at an early stage. Therefore her prospects of full recovery are good. She probably had the lump removed and may have a few rounds of chemotherapy. If not detected early, the prognosis would have be much more dire.

So how did she find it so early? Was it just good luck, or did her regular checkups pay off? From early news reports it was the latter. Here is why I believe that.

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