A recent study has shown that performing a lumpectomy, the removal of a woman’s lymph nodes under her armpit, does not increase survival rates for women with certain early breast cancers. This is fantastic news for women who might suffer from symptoms of breast cancer in the coming years, but it also means that perhaps millions of women underwent unnecessary surgery with painful consequences, and gained nothing for it. It’s the kind of news story that can really make you distrust the medical profession. Why did they go through so many surgeries, and not realize that what they were doing was helping no one? There’s definitely a way to look at this story that puts scientific medicine on the defensive. For me though, this kind of story is the reason I trust science. I know that if the science gets something wrong, it will eventually be able to correct itself. … continue reading this entry.