Breast Cancer, One More Time
This is great -- rich beyond belief.
For several years now, the medical community has been talking about the great strides they have been making in treating breast cancer, and as evidence they point to declining incidence and mortality statistics. But whenever I see statistics, I always think of Benjamin Disreali's quote, "There are three kinds of lies in the world: lies, damn lies, and statistics." And once again, it looks like we've been Disraelied.
A study released yesterday (yes, more statistics) found that virtually all of the reduction cited above was the result of a reduction in the use of hormone replacement therapy. In other words, the reduction in incidence and mortality rates cited to show the great strides made in treating breast cancer had little to do with improved treatment, but rather, it resulted from the fact that doctors stopped using a treatment that was killing people!
The really amazing thing, though, is you can be sure the medical community will continue to cite the old statistics to prove the efficacy of medical treatments for breast cancer as though this new information never existed.