There is a whole lot of medical advice out there on how to prevent breast cancer. When I googled the phrase “breast cancer prevention”, I got “about 6,830,000 results. That is quite a lot of pages to read. And I’m pretty sure these pages will contain confusing, conflicting and misleading information.
The main idea is to be discriminate and not believe everything that you read (not even in this blog!). Instead, do you own research and dig.
Check out the source. To find the source, MD Anderson recommends asking the following questions:
- Was this a press release from a company announcing a new breakthrough in cancer prevention?
- Was it a report from a clinical study that was given at a scientific conference?
- Was it a report from a study that was published in a respected medical journal?
- Where was the study done? What do you know about the research centers that conducted and sponsored the study?
Here at Battling for Health, I try to point you to the original source on which I based my post. Just click on the hyperlink.
If you want to go back to the original published medical article, you can search in Pub Med www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/. There you will find the abstracts of the original paper or sometimes even the whole article itself.
Find out how the test was done, MD Anderson recommends. Sometimes new developments are reported to the public prematurely with too much hype before they have been thorough tested and proven to be effective.
How a study was done determines the reliability of the results.
The rule of thumb is that human studies are more reliable than animal studies. In human studies, a prospective study gives more reliable data than a retrospective study and the larger the number of study participants, and the longer the follow-up time, the better.
Finally, the gold standard for a study design of a clinical trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled. This type of study gives the best data quality and high level of evidence.
Talk to your doctor
Discuss what you have read and researched with a health professional. And do not start anything new without first talking to your doctor.
MD Anderson’s parting shot is as follows: