Two Sides of the Same Coin

in Debunking EBM by

There has been a lot of noise on the interwebs lately centering the almost prophetic death of two of the most popular (at least posthumously) faces of breast cancer sufferers. Kim Tinkham and Elizabeth Edwards.

Whilst the former concentrated on alternative medical therapies, stressing on the need for alkalinizing the body to cure cancer which was caused by the destructive effect of acids on the cells (really? WOW!) the latter subjected herself to the therapies suggested by medical science. Unfortunately for bith women, the ends were equally tragic.

This is a period of mourning for both the families, and right now, I would not want to apportion blame on the family of Kim, nor would I want to go in and analyze what went wrong. Anyone who wants a detailed look at the affair can head over to Orac’s blog Respectful Insolence HERE and check out his detailed series of posts on the entire matter unfolding.

I want to post my condolences to both the families and pray that their souls rest in peace. In a later post I will tackle the question of a similar brand of quackery-mongering which I may have found out is working out of my very own city.

But even as I end, I echo the questions that Orac has been asking:

Why do people run into the arms of quacks, particularly in the case of being diagnosed with a treatable disease, even if life-threatening? More importantly, how can we as doctors try to facilitate the understanding of cancer biology and science-baed medicine so that it’s more likely that patients will be like Elizabeth Edwards and less likely that they will be like Kim Tinkham?

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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