KevinMD highlights some good posts from two of my favorite New Yorker bloggers about a new campaign encouraging people to get CT scans to catch lung cancer early, before it spreads–even though there’s no evidence to support this. Which I totally agree with. He says:
A deplorable campaign. Currently, there is no data suggesting decreased mortality from lung cancer screening. Asking the public to “demand” a CT scan simply drives up health care costs without a demonstrable survival benefit.
I find it curious for Kevin to have taken this position, when he recently started promoting Family Cord Blood Services, since there’s currently no evidence that private cord blood banking will provide any benefit to children, and the American Association of Pediatrics actually recommends against private cord blood banking, except in the case “when there is knowledge of a full sibling in the family with a medical condition (malignant or genetic) that could potentially benefit from cord blood transplantation.”
The AAP does recommend public cord blood banking, however–since public cord blood is available to… the public. Something I just learned that I didn’t realize–if your child ends up having a childhood blood cancer and needs a stem cell transplant, cord blood may have a higher successful transplant rate, but your own child’s blood won’t be used, because it likely already had the cancer growing in it. Someone else’s child’s cord blood will be used for the transplant.
I have no problem with Kevin’s blog advertising, and sure, Kevin, he makes it clear that it’s a “Sponsored Post.” And perhaps someday there will be a use for cord blood (I guess the 99.9% of us who don’t have our own cord blood available are just SOL). But as compared to Kevin’s other sponsors, who are selling magazines, or promoting their websites or electronic medical records, the cord blood post really makes it seem like he endorses/supports/agrees with private cord blood banking. Which is fine if he does–except the evidence isn’t there for private cord blood therapies, or lung cancer screening CTs.