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cancer mortality rate

US cancer mortality rate dropped by 33% since 1991

A new peer-reviewed article provides data that shows that the cancer mortality rate in the US has dropped by 33% since 1991. This is definitely good news in a world where we are getting hit by bad medical news. And it seems like we’re winning the war on cancer.

This also goes against the claims by Joe Mercola and Robert F Kennedy Jr that the mass COVID-19 vaccination has caused a large increase in cancer deaths. Obviously, using real data, it hasn’t, but when are Mercola and RFK Jr ever right about anything?

Although I am not a cancer scientist nor do I play one on the internet, I like to keep abreast of new technologies and new pseudoscience about cancer. Since I am no David Gorski, MD, a real cancer scientist, I can’t tell you the best way to treat breast cancer, but I can generally tell you what’s a scam because I know how to read science articles.

But, most of all, I love to discuss meta-level data like cancer mortality rates because they tell more of the story of how successful we are in fighting the war on cancer. I know people are more afraid of dying of cancer than almost any disease. If COVID-19 were cancer, there would be NOBODY refusing the vaccine, even among the most ardent anti-vaxxers. I haven’t seen polling on this, but I’ll bet that people are scared of cancer more than any other disease out there.

So, we’re going to dig into this new research on cancer death rates, so that maybe the reader will feel less afraid of cancer as a group of diseases (there are over 200 different cancers, at least). Let’s go.

Read More »US cancer mortality rate dropped by 33% since 1991
vaccine placebo

The anti-vaccine “it’s not tested against a placebo” trope (2023 update)

For those of us who have made a career in debunking anti-vaccine claims, one of the most annoying is that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo. This claim is wrong on two levels — first, many vaccines are tested against a placebo, and second, in some cases using a placebo in a vaccine trial would be highly unethical and irresponsible.

You can find a lot of claims on social media about vaccine testing versus placebo, but I’m going to focus on a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from Del Bigtree, the producer of the fraudmentary Vaxxed, who has approximately zero credibility on vaccines. He, and his anti-vaccine organization, Informed Consent Action Network, is just a front organization for anti-vaccine nonsense pushed by Bigtree and his minions. Again, no credibility.

The aforementioned letter is an 88-page, yes, 88-plodding-pages, treasure trove of cherry-picking, pseudoscience, appeals to authority, other logical fallacies, lies, ignorance, misinformation, and delusion about vaccines. This letter is a follow-up to a response from HHS to Bigtree’s original laughable letter to HHS from January 2018.

I’m not going to deal with all of his ridiculous points in the letter, I’m just going to focus on a small part, that is, his claim that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo for comparison. As I said in the introductory paragraph, Bigtree is completely wrong.

Read More »The anti-vaccine “it’s not tested against a placebo” trope (2023 update)
HPV vaccine cancer

HPV vaccine is not just about cervical cancer, but other cancers

Despite our best efforts, a lot of people believe the HPV vaccine is just for cervical cancer in women. In fact, the HPV vaccine prevents many other cancers that are as dangerous or maybe even more dangerous than cervical cancer.

Too many people focus on preventing cancer in women rather than the fact that the HPV vaccine prevents many forms of cancer in anyone who has sex. It doesn’t matter if one is gay, lesbian, or straight, HPV, which is linked to cancers, can be transmitted sexually between partners.

This article is here to remind everyone that HPV is linked to many different cancers. And given that there are just a handful of ways to reliably prevent cancer, the HPV vaccine becomes one of the most powerful tools to prevent these dangerous, debilitating, and deadly diseases.

Read More »HPV vaccine is not just about cervical cancer, but other cancers
HPV vaccine effective

New systematic review says HPV vaccine is effective — of course

I enjoy repeating myself about the HPV vaccine, but another systematic review says it is effective in preventing HPV infections. And when we can prevent HPV infections, we can prevent a long list of cancers.

I know some of you think that your blueberry kale smoothies prevent cancer, but there are really only a handful of ways to prevent cancer. The HPV vaccine is one of the most effective methods to prevent cancer.

Let’s review HPV, the HPV vaccine, and this new systematic review.

Read More »New systematic review says HPV vaccine is effective — of course
HPV vaccine encephalitis

HPV vaccine not linked to encephalitis — but, here comes a lawsuit

I was pointed to a lawsuit where the plaintiffs contend that their son died from a form of encephalitis caused by the HPV vaccine. Despite the lack of scientific evidence, the family wants to blame the tragic death of their son on something — and the HPV vaccine is the most convenient target.

This article isn’t going to get into the weeds of the lawsuit, that’s best left to others. I just want to dismiss any link between the HPV vaccine and a form of encephalitis called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which the parents claimed was caused by the vaccine.

Read More »HPV vaccine not linked to encephalitis — but, here comes a lawsuit
HPV related cancers

46,000 HPV-related cancers annually in the USA — get the vaccine!

There are just a handful of ways to reduce your risk of cancer— one of the most important is to get the HPV vaccine to prevent HPV-associated cancers with the HPV vaccine (see Note 1).

Too many people who discuss the HPV vaccine, especially among the anti-vaccine religion, tend to focus on HPV-related cervical cancer. But HPV is linked to several dangerous and deadly cancers, and a new report examines the details of those cancers. 

Read More »46,000 HPV-related cancers annually in the USA — get the vaccine!

HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print

I’ve written nearly 200 articles on the HPV vaccine, debunking one myth after another. Despite the new COVID-19 vaccines being a recent target of various anti-vaccine myths and tropes, it has nothing on the FUD disinformation propaganda pushed against the HPV vaccine.

Like I did with the COVID-19 vaccines, I wanted to create easy-to-use charts for those of you who need a quick reference to debunk the nonsense out there.

Read More »HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print
human foreskin vaccines

There is no human foreskin in vaccines — why do I have to write this?

I never know how these tropes start, but I just read an anti-vaxxer claim that vaccines include a bit of human foreskin. I really didn’t want to write about it, but I guess I have to do it, just because I spent time trying to figure out if it were true.

We will discuss how the human foreskin is related to vaccines, and it is fairly interesting. But you can guess that the only reason this is a thing is that there is a huge intersection between the intactivists, those who oppose circumcision, and the anti-vaccine world.

We’re going to ignore the whole circumcision argument, even though there is a lot of scientific evidence supporting it as a medical procedure, as this article is solely about vaccines or at least the use of the human foreskin in developing and producing vaccines. And why the human foreskin in vaccines is another zombie myth.

Read More »There is no human foreskin in vaccines — why do I have to write this?
HPV immunization

HPV immunization herd effect — it’s reducing infection in unvaxxed

Immunization against HPV (human papillomavirus) has had a positive effect not only on vaccinated individuals but also on unvaccinated females according to a new peer-reviewed study. And the unvaxxed can be thankful that more and more young men and women are getting their HPV immunization.

I am a large proponent of the cancer-preventing HPV vaccine because it prevents several different cancers. Unfortunately, this same study showed that the HPV immunization rate is still quite low compared to other vaccines.

Let’s take a look at HPV, the HPV vaccine, and this new research.

Read More »HPV immunization herd effect — it’s reducing infection in unvaxxed
anti-vaccine

Anti-vaxxers don’t want to be called “anti-vaccine” — boo frickin’ hoo

A few days ago, some anti-vaxxer on Twitter complained that she didn’t want to be called anti-vaccine. She said it was a personal attack on her. And that she really wasn’t anti-vaccine.

Well, that’s just an incredibly laughable position that is unsupported by anything in reality. These anti-vaccine activists want to appear rational, thoughtful, and scientific, when, in fact, their position is anything but rational, thoughtful, or scientific.

We call someone anti-vaccine because they refuse to accept the vast scientific consensus about every vaccine on the market. No matter how many times we talk about a large, well-analyzed, unbiased study about a vaccine, they ignore it, and then they give preference to anecdotes and false authorities that confirm their pre-ordained conclusions about vaccines.

Now, just to be clear, parents who sit on the fence because they are confused about vaccines are not anti-vaxxers. They aren’t promoting anti-vaccine nonsense, they are trying to find good evidence to support getting vaccinated. I try to target this group lately because they seem to be working in good faith about vaccines. I’ve had numerous people over time that information I’ve prevented has moved them from “vaccine-hesitant” to pro-vaccine. That’s my mitzvah.

I’m going to write about true anti-vaxxers who present bad information about vaccines while complaining that they are being characterized as “anti-vaccine.” They deserve the label, and I’ll show you why.

Read More »Anti-vaxxers don’t want to be called “anti-vaccine” — boo frickin’ hoo