IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags cancer , breast , smoke

Reply
Old 17th March 2005, 12:43 PM   #1
joesixpack
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,531
Secondhand Smoke and Breast Cancer?

I just read an artical in USA Today (hey, it was in the breakroom and more interesting than the Avon catalogue) that said there is a new study that shows a 90% risk increase of breast cancer among women exposed to secondhand smoke. Though I'm sure secondhsnd smoke isn't a good thing (I quit smoking when my son was born, so don't think I'm defending secondhand smoke here), my gut tells me that this study is somehow flawed. I'm no epidemioligest ( as you can tell by my spelling of the word) but wouldn't exposure to secondhand smoke put French women in a very high risk group? Do french women suffer from breast cancer at almost twice the rate of American women?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...stcancer_x.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...08-smoke_x.htm

Can anyone tell me if this is good science?
__________________
Generally sober 'til noon.
joesixpack is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 01:10 PM   #2
Jorghnassen
Illuminator
 
Jorghnassen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,942
Well, it's hard to tell with the partial (as in incomplete) info given in the articles. Though I can answer your question about French women vs American women. The two populations are quite different aside from smoking exposure, and there are many other factors that would make the cancer rates hardly comparable with respect to smoking exposure only.
Jorghnassen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 01:19 PM   #3
joesixpack
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,531
Quote:
I can answer your question about French women vs American women. The two populations are quite different aside from smoking exposure, and there are many other factors that would make the cancer rates hardly comparable with respect to smoking exposure only.
I thought that at first, too, but a 90% risk increase is hardly something that would be lost in the background noise. Or is it? Surely French health officials have done studies on breast cancer. Wouldn't they have enough data to at least make some meaningful comparason? A 90% risk increase is quite a bit, non?
__________________
Generally sober 'til noon.
joesixpack is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 01:33 PM   #4
Rob Lister
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,504
Quote:
Originally posted by joesixpack
I thought that at first, too, but a 90% risk increase is hardly something that would be lost in the background noise. Or is it? Surely French health officials have done studies on breast cancer. Wouldn't they have enough data to at least make some meaningful comparason? A 90% risk increase is quite a bit, non?
I can't say because I'm not one of them their epodemowhatevers either but I am skeptical for many reasons. One huge red flag being...

Quote:
The 1,200-page report analyzes new data on the extent of Californians' exposure to secondhand smoke and more than 1,000 studies of health effects from secondhand smoke.
emphisis mine.

Rob Lister is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 01:41 PM   #5
Jorghnassen
Illuminator
 
Jorghnassen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,942
Quote:
Originally posted by joesixpack
I thought that at first, too, but a 90% risk increase is hardly something that would be lost in the background noise. Or is it? Surely French health officials have done studies on breast cancer. Wouldn't they have enough data to at least make some meaningful comparason? A 90% risk increase is quite a bit, non?
Not necessarily. From the second article, that 90% seems to be the upper bound of an interval estimate, and basically, it says that exposed women have (at most) 1.9 times (1.26 times at least) the risk to get breast cancer as unexposed women. It doesn't look that impressive if you put it that way does it? A real epidemiologist would know how to interpret those numbers better....
Jorghnassen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 02:34 PM   #6
CBL4
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,346
This seems like a bogus study. From the first link:
Quote:
The report also gave more weight to toxicology evidence from animal studies than previous studies by the surgeon general and others
Quote:
Tobacco companies, in public comments filed with the board, say the report gives little weight to studies that found no breast cancer connection.
Unfortunately, smoking has become so politicized that it is almost impossible to trust any study.

CBL
CBL4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2005, 02:47 PM   #7
Jorghnassen
Illuminator
 
Jorghnassen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,942
Quote:
Originally posted by CBL4
This seems like a bogus study. From the first link:

Unfortunately, smoking has become so politicized that it is almost impossible to trust any study.

CBL
I wouldn't necessarily call it bogus, but the reporting is clearly trying to, shall we say, accentuate what the study really shows (though data collection, analysis and actual conclusions might also be flawed).
Jorghnassen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:56 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.