Cancer News: How to recognize lies?

Cancer News
File Cancer News

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Cancer is a very topical subject, it is regularly raised in the media. That scientists came up with a new medicine, then, on the contrary, a new tool for someone did not help.

Given the prevalence of the disease (almost everyone has a friend or acquaintance of a friend), people perceive the cancer emotionally, and these emotions can interfere with the work of critical thinking.

Sometimes it happens differently – a new promising technique is called “miraculous healing”, and trust in it immediately falls. How can you understand whether to trust this or that news? Several councils have been prepared by the Cancer Research UK Foundation.

Where?

Look for the answer to the question of where and how the study was conducted. Were cell cultures involved in the lab, mice, or people? All these stages are necessary for the development of a drug, and until the drug shows its safety in the laboratory and in animals, there will be no clinical trials in humans.

At each stage, a new drug can work in different ways, so the “magic potion” tested only in a Petri dish is most likely not yet a cure. Also, how many mice or people took part in the work? ten? 100? 1000? The more – the more reliable the result.

How long?

Another important factor. How long have patients been watched? A week? Month? Year ? The longer – the better, because drugs may have side effects that manifest themselves in the long term. If the data for the work were taken from long-past studies? Human life is constantly changing, and newer data may be more credible.

What?

There are many factors that can affect the outcome of the experiment. If we talk about cancer – it can be alcohol, nutrition, physical activity. It is impossible to influence only one variable, moreover, often for scientific works they use data provided by the participants themselves, and there may be inaccuracies in this information.

Scientists take something into account, but gaps always remain, so long-term observation and a large sample are needed.

Who!

What source did the news come from? If the World Pillow Association reports that pillows are good for health, it does not mean that they are wrong, but nevertheless someone here is clearly an interested party.

It is worth reading not only the news or the article itself, but also the comments of experts, often from them it is possible to understand how the results of the work correlate with the existing scientific base. However, experts should be treated critically.

How?

Scientists prefer to publish their articles in journals that other scientists are auditing, and these articles usually contain enough data for other groups to repeat the experiment.

Such verification allows to consider the results reliable. But if the information came from the conference, it is quite likely that it is still “preliminary”, and the research itself is not yet completed.

Numbers

One of the favorite tricks. “Pillows double the risk of cancer” – but this risk may initially be, for example, 0.0001%, and with pillows – 0.0002%. Not such a big difference in fact, the discomfort from the lack of pillows in some people will completely outweigh it. Always consider specific data.

All this does not mean that “everyone is lying”, “everything is bad” or something else like that. Nevertheless, if you distance yourself from emotions and view incoming information through the prism of critical thinking, it is quite possible to distinguish the first steps in any field from a real scientific breakthrough.

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