Posted: Mar 19, 2018 7:49 am
by UltimoReducto
Spearthrower wrote:And one final comment on the matter - anecdotes are not statistically significant. It's certainly of human interest to hear of these personal experiences of cancer, but to extrapolate from them is ludicrous.

To add an anecdote of my own with no generalised extrapolation: my grandmother died of cancer a decade or so ago. The doctors advised her against chemotherapy as she was unlikely to survive the procedure, the chances of it being beneficial were minimal, and it would have caused her final days to be even worse than simply suffering through the pain of cancer. She fully agreed and died as predicted within a very short period of time.

For the promoters of population medicine, the individual clinical interaction is of no interest. It is dismissed as quaint, anecdotal, and inconsequential to a proper understanding of health issues. Instead, the data of interest are those garnered from large epidemiological studies and clinical trials. From such research, one can derive “risk factors” for disease, elucidate the “determinants of health,” and promote prescriptive measures in wide swaths.

Anecdotes are pesky because they tend to undermine nice little theories worked out in the lab.

What are you doing on a discussion board when discussion makes you uncomfortable?