13.01.2016

Colon cancer and acupuncture points

August 1, 2013 By SDHC-admin Leave a Comment Possibly you have been to a health care practitioner of some sort and when you mentioned you were feeling tired they might have said you have Adrenal Fatigue. You’ve probably wondered what that even was or if Adrenal Fatigue even a real medical condition?
We are often moving targets in our daily life and we fuel up with venti lattes (caffeine, a stimulant) to get through our afternoons. Over time, our adrenal glands can’t keep up with the demand placed on them.  Here is where the fatigue part comes in.
There are complicated processes going on in the body that cascade into these symptoms and there are stages to all of these symptoms.  At any point things can get complicated and turn into more alarming conditions. So yes and no, Adrenal Fatigue is a series of symptoms lumped together to be called a condition. Skeptical Inquirer is now available digitally on Apple Newsstand and on all other major platforms through the Pocketmags app. Forbes columnist Steven Salzberg and author-investigator Joe Nickell will each be awarded the 2012 Robert P. Many of you know I wrote this book, entitled a€?Women Arena€™t Supposed to Fly: the Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon. This workshop is called the Skeptica€™s Toolbox, and every year we talk about what makes some people skeptics and others not.
Jerry Andrus used to come to the Toolbox and show us his close-up magic tricks and optical illusions. Psychiatrist Morgan Levy said, a€?Thinking like a humana€? is not a logical way to think but it is not a stupid way to think either. He also said a€?Scientists expend an enormous amount of time and energy going to school in order to learn how to undo the effects of evolution so that they can investigate natural phenomena in a logical way.a€? Education helps, but it isna€™t enough. Eventually, we crossed the line from proto-science to modern science, for instance from alchemy to chemistry: Cartoon: a€?Youa€™ve turned lead into gold? Scientific method is nothing special; ita€™s really just a way of thinking about a problem, forming a hypothesis, selecting one variable at a time, and testing it. Once youa€™ve decided that a drug is worth testing, the next step is what we call Phase I trials. If the drug passes the Phase I safety trials, the next step is a Phase II trial to see if the drug is effective. If the Phase II trials show the drug works, the next step is a Phase III trial to see if it works better than other treatments. A researcher named Ioannidis recently wrote a seminal paper showing that most published research findings are wrong. I want to mention the null hypothesis because it can be hard to understand a€“ it has always bothered me because it seems sort of like a double negative. Clinical research usually uses the arbitrary level of p=0.05 as the cut-off for statistical significance. If you dona€™t consider prior probability, you can end up doing what I call Tooth Fairy Science. In acupuncture fairy science, the hypothesis is that sticking needles in specific acupuncture points along acupuncture meridians affects the flow of qi, which improves health. I write for the Science-Based Medicine blog, where we make a distinction between evidence-based medicine and science-based medicine. One of the most common human errors is forgetting that correlation doesna€™t mean causation. The logical fallacy here is post hoc, ergo propter hoc: assuming that because B follows A, it was caused by A. A scientist named Hill came up with a list of criteria to determine whether a correlation from epidemiologic studies showed causation. Media reports of medical studies usually make findings sound bad by citing relative risk reduction rather than absolute risk reduction. A recent study showed that using a cell phone doubled the risk of acoustic neuroma (a tumor in the ear).
As well as asking for absolute risk rather than relative risk, we can ask for NNT and NNH a€“ the number needed to treat and the number needed to harm.
Lipitor is one of the statin drugs used to lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and strokes.
One cynic put it this way "What if you put 250 people in a room and told them they would each pay $1,000 a year for a drug they would have to take every day, that many would get diarrhea and muscle pain, and that 249 would have no benefit?
We all tend to assume that a positive test means someone has a disease and a negative test means he doesna€™t.
Mammograms are 90% accurate in spotting those who have cancer (this is called the sensitivity of the test). The Brain and Spine Institute is made up of experts in the field of neuroscience in order to bring patients the best healthcare in East Tennessee for a full range of neurological diseases and disorders.
We provide a comprehensive continuum of cancer services, including prevention, outreach, diagnostic, treatment and support services delivered by our highly skilled staff with compassion and care. Emergency and Trauma Center is the only Level I Trauma Center in the area and serves as the tertiary referral center for medical care in East Tennessee, serving Knox County and 21 surrounding counties.
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Our center is dedicated to caring for you with a comprehensive range of orthopaedic services. The Center for Women & Infants Health is a hub for supporting women's and infants individual healthcare needs.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center provides medical treatment without regard to race, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, culture, language, socioeconomic status, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability. You might start getting tired in the afternoons, soon you have trouble sleeping and then you notice your midback starts hurting.  You start getting more colds and you have higher inflammation which means more aches and pains. Sometimes treatment for Adrenal Fatigue can be more aggressive in treatment, perhaps a series of IV nutrition.
Balles Prize in Critical Thinking, to be presented by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry at the CFI Summit in October. You can take two people who believe in dowsing and explain the ideomotor effect and show how dowsing has consistently failed every properly controlled test.
He would tell us a€?The reason I can fool you is that you have a wonderful brain.a€? Our brain takes the odd contraption on the right, and from another point of view on the left it assembles it into a nonexistent, impossible box. Has something new evolved in our brains to help us overcome our intelligently illogical thinking processes? But to get back to the subject of my talka€¦ Ia€™m going to explain some of the pitfalls we encounter when we apply the scientific method to clinical medicine. When you mix chemicals A and B you always get chemical C, and you can calculate exactly how much will be produced. Back then, the sailing ships went out for years at a time and sailors had no access to fresh foods. When comparing the responses of two groups, you want to make sure the groups are comparable. Treatments almost always a€?worka€? a€“ even quack treatments often seem to work due to the placebo effect and due to the natural course of disease where some people improve without treatment. The subject doesna€™t know whether hea€™s getting the treatment or the placebo, and the researcher doesna€™t know which hea€™s giving the patient. If an Amazon explorer reports that a tribe chews a certain leaf to treat infections, you dona€™t just bring those leaves home and give them to people. The number of subjects in a research trial is small compared to the number of patients who will be taking a drug after it is marketed.
If you look at enough endpoints youa€™re almost certain to find some correlation just by chance.
Instead of testing the claim itself a€“ that X cures Y a€“ you test the null hypothesis a€“ that X doesna€™t cure Y. I think you can see that the prior probability of your being able to take 12 dice and construct this is so low that you would not waste your time trying.
In the top row, if the p-value is 0.05 and the prior probability is 1%, the probability that the results are correct is only 3%. You can study whether leaving the tooth in a baggie generates more Tooth Fairy money than leaving it wrapped in Kleenex. There is no evidence that specific acupuncture points or meridians exist, and no evidence that qi exists. Evidence based medicine simply looks at the published clinical research and accepts the findings. If the mean incidence of cancer is X, that means some communities will have fewer than X cases and some will have more than X.


The top of the columns shows the actual measurements found, and there is a 95% confidence that the true measurement falls somewhere on the red lines.
The rise in autism was correlated with a rise in the number of pirates, but I doubt if anyone thinks pirates cause autism or autism causes pirates.
Ita€™s easy to see why this is a fallacy when you show that the rooster crows every morning, followed by the sun rising.
A study showed that the risk of breast cancer increases by 6% for every daily drink of alcohol.
The relative risk was reported as 200% and alarmed parents took their childrena€™s phones away. A British Heart Foundation press release said a€?We know that regular exposure to second-hand smoke increases the chances of developing heart disease by around 25%. When you use Tylenol for post-op pain, you have to give it to 3.6 patients for one to benefit. When it is used for secondary prevention (in patients who already have heart disease) somewhere between 16 and 23 patients must be treated for one to benefit. Theya€™ve done surveys asking this question, and most laypeople and even many doctors guess 90%.
They are 93% accurate in spotting those who dona€™t have cancer (this is called the specificity of the test).
Of those 8 women with cancer, 7 of them will have true positive results, and one will have a false negative result and be falsely reassured that she does not have cancer. She is a contributing editor and frequent contributor to the Skeptical Inquirer and contributes to the blog Science-Based Medicine. Whatever your orthopaedic needs, our team delivers the most advanced skills, interventions and treatments available in East Tennessee. The plague doctor in the upper left picture wore a beak-like mask stuffed with herbs in the belief that it would keep him from catching the disease. In the novel, he is assembling some old armor to wear on his quest and discovers that the visor is no longer attached to the helmet.
Many of them developed scurvy, where they became weak, unable to work, and had internal bleeding, bleeding gums, and other symptoms. Reliable birth control allowed women to take control of their lives and contribute to society in all kinds of occupations. If you steered all the sick, old people into the treatment group and all the young, healthy ones into the placebo group, an effective treatment might appear to be a dud.
The point is that they looked at all kinds of parameters like age, sex, ethnic group, weight, height, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. There is a phenomenon called the Hawthorne effect, where just being enrolled in a study leads to improvement. First you might test it in a lab to see what the components were and see whether they suppressed growth in a bacterial culture. The other half got a placebo and went into shock.a€? If you have an effective treatment for a disease, you cana€™t risk patienta€™s lives by denying them that treatment and assigning them to a placebo group. The company may want to demonstrate that the drug works for other illnesses, or show that it works better than a competitora€™s product.
Some of them will be different from the people in the trials in various ways, for instance they may have concomitant diseases. If a drug company funds the research, ita€™s more likely to support their drug than if an independent lab does the study.
In China, if you published a study showing something didna€™t work you would lose face and lose your job.
The diabetes drug Avandia decreased the levels of Hemoglobin A1C, a blood test indicating that the disease is under control. In a study of Gulf War Syndrome they looked at veterana€™s wives to see if the husbands had brought anything home to harm them. There are only 2 options: you can reject the null hypothesis (more people are cured with X than with placebo) or you can not reject it (the same number of people are cured with X as with placebo). You can look for good quality studies published in good journals, studies that have been confirmed by other studies, studies that are consistent with other knowledge, and studies that have a reasonably high prior probability. The p=0.05 level essentially means that if you repeat the trial 20 times, 19 are likely to show the same result. Cartoon: mammoth is getting spears in the butt and thinks his neck pain suddenly feels better. If it did exist, therea€™s no reason to think it could flow, or that sticking needles in people could affect that flow, or that the flow could improve health. Science based medicine considers preclinical research, prior probability, consistency with the rest of the body of scientific knowledge, and the fallibility of most research. If you spill rice on a grid, there will be an average number of grains per square, but some squares will have 0 grains and some will have lots of grains. In the example on the left, the lowest end of the red line for the brown column is still higher than the highest end of the red line for the white column, so we can be confident brown is really greater than white. There is a consistent correlation, but we all know it was not the roostera€™s crowing that made the sun come up.
A doctor studied the curative effects of light in hospitals, and found that 4 times as many patients were cured in properly lighted rooms than in darkness. There is no way we could do a randomized controlled study of smoking a€“ you cana€™t divide children in two groups and make one group smoke for decades and the other not, and you certainly couldna€™t have a blinded study.
You have to treat 16 dog-bite patients with antibiotics for one to benefit: 15 out of 16 will take the antibiotics needlessly. When it is used for primary prevention (in patients who are at risk but dona€™t yet have heart disease) the NNT rises to somewhere between 70 and 250, depending on age, other risk factors, etc.
How many would take that?" This is an exaggeration, but it illustrates that these drugs should be used selectively, based on individual factors like a total risk assessment and the patienta€™s personal preferences to take his chances vs taking a drug for insurance. 0.8% of women getting routine mammograms have cancer (this is the prevalence of the disease).
Articles, reports, reviews, and letters published on the CSICOP.org website represent the views and work of individual authors. It is precisely because we think in an intelligently illogical way that our predecessors were able to survive. Ia€™m going to suggest some questions you may want to ask the next time you visit your doctor. Instead of scientific trials we had only case reports and testimonials a€“ for centuries we used fleams like the one in the upper right picture for bloodletting and we kept doing it because both patients and doctors told us it worked. He attaches it with ribbons, and when he tests it by striking it with his sword, the visor falls off. To make sure there is no bias in group assignment, ita€™s best to use concealed allocation, where the researcher that assigns patients to groups 1 and 2 doesna€™t know which is the placebo group; only another researcher knows that.
So instead of just treating subjects and showing that they improve, you need to compare them to a control group of patients who get a placebo, or a known effective treatment, or no treatment at all.
So if you want to prove that a new treatment works, youa€™re going to have to show that it produces more improvement than the natural course of disease and the placebo response. The first rotavirus vaccine was taken off the market when they discovered that 1 in 10,000 children developed intussusception, a telescoping of the bowel that is life-threatening. If the researchers are true believers, all kinds of psychological factors come into play and even if they do their best to be objective, they are at risk of fooling themselves. An observer sees a (random) student from a distance; all the observer can see is that this student is wearing trousers. In the bottom row, if the p-value shows a phenomenally high significance level of 0.001, and the prior probability is 1%, the posterior probability is still only 50%.
It can be very tricky to determine whether a cluster is due to chance or whether it represents an increased risk in that particular area. In the example on the right, a level within the red line for the brown column is taller than a level within the red line for the white column, so ita€™s possible that brown might actually be greater than white.
He said this was a€?Due to the agency of light, without a full supply of which plants and animals maintain but a sickly and feeble existence.a€? The editors commented that the health statistics of all civilized countries had improved in the preceding century a€“ may be because houses are better built to admit more light.
If each ate a couple of slices of bacon every day, 6 would get cancer a€“ only one more man, for an absolute risk of 1 in 100.
Their publication does not necessarily constitute and endorsement by CSI or its members unless so stated.
This is the Skeptica€™s Toolbox, and Ia€™m hoping to offer you some tools so that the next time you see a report in the media claiming that broccoli causes cancer you will have a better handle on how to evaluate the report, what questions to ask, and how to decide whether you should immediately stop eating broccoli. The proclamations of authorities like Hippocrates and Galen were never tested or questioned, and their errors were passed down for centuries.
He re-attaches it more carefully and the second time he decides he doesna€™t really need to test it again.


We have genetic differences, and there are confounders like age, diet, alcohol, and concurrent diseases that may all influence the response to a treatment. We developed fantastic imaging methods (x-rays, ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET scans) (thata€™s Homer Simpsona€™s skull x-ray) that enabled us to see inside the living body and make diagnoses without waiting for the autopsy. Once you have assigned patients randomly to the groups, you still need to go back and check that the two groups really are similar. At the beginning of this particular month she hardly had any pain, then it got worse for a while, when it subsided again.
In vitro is Latin for a€?in glassa€? and refers to lab testing with test tubes and Petri dishes.
People who volunteer for a study of acupuncture are likely to believe it might work; people who think acupuncture is nonsense probably wona€™t sign up. Obviously, that was just noise, not a sign that Gulf War Syndrome improves the skin of spouses.
If the null hypothesis is that there are no black swans, all it takes is one black swan to disprove it. Does this mean that a study that is statistically significant at p=0.05 is 95% likely to be correct?
You can get reliable data that are reproducible, consistent, and statistically significant.
In the Love Canal incident, a panel of distinguished doctors recently reviewed the scientific findings to date. Suddenly it seems perfectly reasonable a€“ but we have to remember that it might be just another rooster. I think most of us can see that this correlation did not prove causation a€“ we can come up with other explanations. The diagnostic value of a test depends on the pre-test probability that the patient has the disease. So in all, there will be 77 positive test results, and only 7 of those will actually have cancer a€“ roughly 10%. 10-15 women will be told that they have breast cancer earlier than they would otherwise have been told, but this will not affect their prognosis.
After 14 tests, 28% of men and 22% of women had undergone invasive tests to determine whether they really had cancer a€“ this included biopsies, exploratory surgery and even hysterectomy. Thanks to the ESO for the image of the Helix Nebula, also NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team for the image of NGC 3808B (ARP 87).
Bob Carroll, author of The Skeptica€™s Dictionary has said that critical thinking is an unnatural act. Lind had heard reports of successful treatment, and he had developed the hypothesis that scurvy was due to putrefaction and could be prevented by acids.
Sometimes they even take the capsules apart and check whether the contents taste like sugar. How many people would you have to enroll in a premarketing study to detect a one-in-100,000 complication? Maybe 3 studies were done and only one showed positive results and thata€™s the one they submitted for publication (the file drawer effect).
If you study the net worth of 5 people and Bill Gates is one of the 5, you get skewed results. Small effects (a 5% improvement) are not as trustworthy as large effects (60% improvement).
This shows why the homeopathy studies that claim statistical significance cana€™t be trusted. They have come up with ingenious placebos a€“ comparing random points on the skin to traditional acupuncture points or using sham needles that work like those stage daggers, where they appear to be penetrating the skin but actually just retract into the handle. One lesson I learned over and over in my years of practice was never to believe one lab test.
100-500 women will have at least one false alarm, and about half of them will undergo a biopsy they didna€™t really need.
He divided 12 sick sailors into 6 groups, kept them all on the same diet, and gave each group a different test remedy: a quart of cider, 25 drops of elixir of vitriol (sulfuric acid a€“ I hope he diluted it in water before he gave it to them!), 6 spoons of vinegar, half a pint of seawater, two oranges and a lemon, or a spicy past plus a drink of barley.
So you really need to do an exit poll, asking patients which group they thought they were in. They took a dose 500 times lower than was found safe in animals and gave it to 4 healthy volunteers.
One of the weirdest drug effects I came across was that in men taking a drug called Flomax for prostate symptoms, if they have cataract surgery they can develop a complication called a€?floppy iris syndrome.a€? No one could have predicted that! Ita€™s always better if different types of evidence from different sources arrive at the same conclusion.
In their view, no scientific evidence has been offered that the people of Love Canal have suffered "acute health effects" from exposure to the hazardous wastes, nor has the threat of long-term damage been conclusively demonstrated. And, since I mentioned birth control pills for the women, Ia€™ll mention Viagra for the men.
If they can guess better than chance, you didna€™t have an adequate placebo and your results are tainted. They were all hospitalized with multiple organ failures and some required organ transplants to save their lives.
You should never trust a single paper, but should look at the entire body of published evidence. It can only say that based on current evidence, the likelihood of a human being able to fly is so vanishingly small that no one in his right mind would jump off a cliff to try it. No matter what control you pick, a double blind study is impossible, because the acupuncturist has to know what hea€™s doing. They may feed false data to the author or suppress information they know he doesna€™t want to hear.
And you should trust empirical papers which test other peoplea€™s theories more than empirical papers which test the authora€™s theory. Of course, it remains open to new evidence and would be willing to reconsider if people could actually show that they could fly. The best studies using sham acupuncture controls have consistently shown that acupuncture works better than no treatment, and that sham acupuncture works just as well as real acupuncture. She warned that the results were provisional, the study small, and that different results might be found with a larger study. He tried sending ships out with bottled juice to save storage space, and that didna€™t work a€“ the bottling process heated the juice and destroyed the vitamin C.
Sometimes when you read the conclusion of a study and go back and look at the actual data, the data dona€™t justify the conclusion. The file drawer effect is when negative studies are not submitted for publication; publication bias is when the journals are less likely to publish negative studies.
There was a dose-response relationship a€“ the more cigarettes smoked, the higher the rate of lung cancer. We bought a home monitor and checked her regularly and never ever got a single abnormal reading. The report cana€™t possibly contain every detail of the research a€“ what are they not telling us?
Inappropriate data mining is when the study doesna€™t show what they wanted, and they look at subgroups and tweak the data every which way until they get something that looks positive. The acupuncture fairy believera€™s conclusion is that we know acupuncture is effective so sham acupuncture must be effective too. We still dona€™t know what happened a€“ maybe her blood sample got switched with someone elsea€™s.
Maybe when it didna€™t work, they quit, and only the ones who got results were left to be counted.
The mechanism was plausible: we know there are cancer-causing compounds in cigarette smoke. They did experiments where they exposed lab animals to cigarette smoke and the animals developed cancer. Specificity: cigarettes produced specific types of lung cancers, not a mixture of various unrelated symptoms. The data from different kinds of epidemiologic and lab studies and from all sources of information held together in a coherent body of evidence.



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