By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A...
We've documented the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine through the "integration" of mystical and prescientific treatment modalities into medicine. Here, we look at a pebble in the quackademic avalanche. Is it too late for the pebbles to vote?
Last week, I was interviewed by the a reporter from the Georgetown student newsletter about its integrative medicine program. It got me to thinking how delusion that one's work is science-based can lead to collaborations with New Age "quantum" mystics like Deepak Chopra.
“Integrative medicine” advocates: Co-opting the opioid crisis to promote funding for acupuncture by Medicaid
The opioid epidemic is a serious public health crisis in the U.S., and new tools and treatments to deal with chronic pain are urgently needed. Unfortunately, where public health officials see a crisis, advocates of "integrating" quackery with science-based medicine see an opportunity. In this case, promoters of pseudomedicine are taking advantage of the opioid crisis to persuade state Medicaid systems to...
What is “integrative oncology”? Even the Society for Integrative Oncology doesn’t seem to know for sure
Last week, the Society for Integrative Oncology published an article attempting to define what "integrative oncology" is. The definition, when it isn't totally vague, ignores the pseudoscience at the heart of integrative oncology and medicine.
Last month, a billionaire couple, Susan and Henry Samueli, announced a $200 million gift to UC-Irvine to found the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, which will be devoted to integrative medicine and studying "unconventional" treatments. Its founders promise that it will be rigorously science-based in articles in a large, glossy magazine. There are many reasons for doubts about this...
The American Academy of Pediatrics is usually a trustworthy source of high quality information for patients, caregivers, and pediatric medical providers. But when it comes to so-called integrative medicine, they have a massive biased blind spot. In this post, I discuss a recently updated clinical report from their Section on Integrative Medicine.
Last month, Susan and Henry Samueli donated $200 million to the University of California, Irvine to promote integrative medicine. We were pleasantly surprised by the unflattering coverage in the press of the gift. We were unpleasantly unsurprised by the reaction of integrative medicine advocates to the criticism.
Cancer in the 18-39 age range is uncommon, but still occurs. When they should be dealing with school, friends, new jobs, and starting families, instead they must worry about medical bills, appointments, and infertility. Added to this are the costs of "integrative" treatments often foisted upon cancer patients, or built-in to the few adolescent and young adult-focussed centers that currently exist.