nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

STUDY: Cancer Rates By Sexual Orientation. A Waste Of Research Funds

The last several days have been very boring...medically speaking.

If I see another bin Laden story, I'll lose control.

[Maybe there's a connection.  Maybe bad news (in the sense of "unworthy") crowds out the good (in the sense of "valuable information").]

So, all I've been reading are the usual highly technical journal articles, like this:
"Ranibizumab and Bevacizumab for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration"  (NEJM, Apr 28)
It's an important study, but has no appeal unless you're treating patients.

The rest of what the media is publishing hovers around ground-breakingly empty stories about how pets can improve health or 10 new healthy recipes for okra, and the like.

If I'm not interested in that fluff, then I assume you won't be.

But this one caught my eye, if only to condemn this kind of reporting
"Gay men 'report higher cancer rate than straight men'" (BBC News, 9 May, but also reported in other media.  The original study is in the journal Cancer)
Apparently women don't exhibit a parallel rate difference.

Studies like this come from the category of research--epidemiologic studies--that are least valuable, most often wrong, and most vulnerable to bias and confounding factors.

This will almost certainly turn out to be (1) an unverifiable result, (2) subject to selection bias, or (3) due to an unidentified, third variable that distinguishes the two groups (like age, education, income, and a whole laundry list of other inconsequential things).

What's its NOT, is any indication that sexual preference determines getting cancer.  

So, you have to ask why they even wasted the research funds.

Doc D

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What I'm Reading - Updated 3 May