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Does mammography save lives? Not according to the latest study.

The common perception of mammography is that, by detecting breast cancer earlier than it would otherwise be, it saves women’s lives. However, there is quite some evidence to suggest that many women need to be screen for one life to be saved, and on top of this we have adverse effects such as over-diagnosis (the […]

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Study provides evidence that the hazards of cancer screening receive scant attention

The concept behind screening for cancer is that earlier detection will lead to more timely and more effective treatment. However, objective analysis tends to reveal that, generally speaking, large numbers of people need to be screen for one life to be saved from the disease being screened for. For example, using mammography as an example, […]

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Research finds ‘raised’ cholesterol to be associated with a reduced risk of death

In the UK and Europe generally, it is recommended that levels of cholesterol in the blood should not be above 5.0 mmol/l (= about 190 mg/dl). We are given the impression that having levels above this puts us at increased risk of heart disease – a major ‘killer’. However, if this is true, it does […]

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New study suggests specific phasing of food can help women with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterised by multiple cysts in the ovaries which can impair ovulation and therefore fertility. One common feature of the condition is raised levels of the ‘male’ hormone testosterone, which can lead to ‘masculinising’ side effects such as ‘hirsutism’ (abnormal, excessive hair growth), scalp hair loss, and acne. Another […]

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Why are female rats more likely to binge eat than male rats?

Binge eating is a phenomenon where someone may start eating but then find it difficult to stop. I actually think that binge eating is more common than perhaps is recognised. Lots of lots of people will, for instance, find that what started as ‘just one biscuit’ turns into half a packet or that a few […]

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Insulin again implicated in breast cancer

We have, for a long time, been wary that certain dietary habits are linked to and perhaps predispose people to cancer. The usual whipping boy here is ‘red meat’ – which is often said to be a potential trigger factor in, say, colon cancer. This belief will tend to add the comfort and security some […]

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Research points to obesity as a potential cause of vitamin D deficiency (not the other way round)

Previous research has found a link between lower levels of vitamin D and higher body weight, causing some to speculate that vitamin D deficiency may be a factor in obesity. The problem with this sort of evidence is that while it can show a link between vitamin D deficiency and, say, obesity, we can’t tell […]

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Podcast – 31st January 2013

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Vitamin D found to promote fat loss and muscle gain in women

Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of a variety of health issues including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several forms of cancer. This research may be of some interest, but its nature (so-called ‘epidemiological’ studies) can’t tell us whether or not vitamin D actually protects against these conditions. It […]

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British Medical Journal publishes damning account of charity’s promotion of mammography

Mammography has traditionally been presented to women as a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ – essentially you’d have to be lacking a brain not to submit to regular breast cancer screening. Over the last few years, though, there has been the publication of several scientific articles which highlight the fact that mammography simply does not deliver […]

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