Monday, June 30, 2008

"Quackery" Is Spelled O-P-R-A-H

11. Myth: Alternative medicine is safer.

Fact : I suppose not treating at all would be even safer. It depends on how you define "safe." To my mind, a treatment is not very "safe" if it causes no side effects but lets you die. Most of us don't just want "safe:" we want "effective." What we really want to know is the risk/benefit ratio of any treatment. Science provides the best answer to that question.

12. Myth: CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) has a lot of evidence supporting its safety and effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of disease.

Fact: If any CAM method was backed by sufficient evidence to conclude that it was safe and effective - it would already be part of mainstream scientific medicine. It would no longer be "complimentary" or "alternative", it would just be medicine.

13. Myth: Homeopathy is safer and more effective than conventional medical therapy.

Fact: Systematic reviews have not found homeopathy to be a definitively proven treatment for any medical condition. Reference the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

14. Myth: Herbs are always good, they are natural.

Fact : Check out information about your favorite herb, you might be surprised. NCCAM herb information.

15. Myth: Acupuncture is a proven treatment for many serious medical conditions.

Fact : Acupuncture alone has not been shown in rigorous, duplicated studies to benefit any defined medical condition.


-- From Alan Johns, M.D., explaining "21 Medical Myths You Need To Know," for CBS11tv.com.