It’s such a toxic (pun not intended) mix when a reporter who isn’t a physician from a newspaper that is in disarray reports a medical finding from medical super-specialists who lack much insight in what they are doing heaping fame and recognition on the authors and their university. Makes for big nice loud spectacular reporting and maybe more funding.
Medical science reportedly found now that there is a molecule involved in DNA repair that when there is too much of it, it also give cancer.
May I share another medical theory that took decades to debunk to show that here probably the same shortcut in logic is applied?
Physicians found that men in their 50s not only had a greater chance to die from heart attacks, Heaven forbid, but that the risk was concentrated around men who seemed “allergic” to idleness.
In the revalidation clinic where, 45 years ago, I learned a little about nursing care, the patients of the cardiology department had all the subscriptions to daily newspapers except for one.
The rule was: if they never rest, no wonder they are prone to heart infarctions. Many years later, doctors had to conclude that the opposite was true. That those men at risk were generally overactive and that that protected (!) them against blocked coronary arteries!
The mistake comes from overhasty usage of statistics. A correlation does not mean a cause. And even if the association is causal, that doesn’t give away the answer to the chicken-or-egg question: which of the two causes the other.
And now medical scientists want us to believe that very aggressive cancers in patients must be caused (or enhanced) by “too much” of this repair enzyme. Nice try, Einsteins.
Not inhibited (but also not supported) by any facts, one could theorize that too many repair molecules attack or disturb healthy DNA.
How about the very likelihood that very aggressive tumors lead to very high levels of the repair molecule?
That would still leave that molecule a good marker of aggressive cancer. But don’t heap guilt on it without any proof of its wrongdoing, please. (It could be that there is proof beyond statistics but that is only revealed to paying readers. Kind of a scandal (but standard medical practice) to claim a sensational revelation but not publicize some proof.)