Longer Looks: A Cancer Diagnosis; Oliver Sacks; Replicating Studies; The Return Of IUDs
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The New York Times:
Was It Cancer? Getting The Diagnosis
I often wondered what it would be like to have a cancer growing inside your body. To suddenly discover you are carrying something that is eating you away, growing in an ugly, consuming mass in or around your bones or organs. To be blithely stepping through life, unaware that your insides are betraying you. I didn’t expect to find out, though, at least not for decades. (Julia Baird, 9/2)
Why Oliver Sacks Was So Remarkable, In 6 Quotes
When people die, there's a tendency to reduce them to something less than they were, to impose the neat arc of narrative on their otherwise messy and complex existence. In the case of Oliver Sacks, the author and neurologist who died Sunday, this would be a tragedy. If you've ever had the pleasure of reading anything he's written, you'll immediately understand why. (Julia Belluz, 8/31)
The New York Times:
Oliver Sacks: Diverse Elements In Harmony
In person, what was striking about Dr. Sacks was his enthusiasm about whatever idea or object had caught his attention. It could be contagious to those around him and probably accounted in large part for his ability to bring sometimes daunting scientific material to a wide general audience. (Erica Goode, 8/31)
How Reliable Are Psychology Studies?
No one is entirely clear on how Brian Nosek pulled it off, including Nosek himself. Over the last three years, the psychologist from the University of Virginia persuaded some 270 of his peers to channel their free time into repeating 100 published psychological experiments to see if they could get the same results a second time around. There would be no glory, no empirical eurekas, no breaking of fresh ground. Instead, this initiative—the Reproducibility Project—would be the first big systematic attempt to answer questions that have been vexing psychologists for years, if not decades. What proportion of results in their field are reliable? (Ed Young, 8/27)
Fat But Fit?
At the intersection of physical and mental health, influenced by a heady mix of public health, sociology, economics and culture, the increase in average weight through the 21st century is a topic of passionate debate. The crux of the argument usually comes down to one fundamental question: is it possible to be fit and fat? We know that normal weight is by no means a guarantee of wellbeing, but is excess fat an absolute sign of poor health? (Caroline Weinberg, 8/27)
Five Studies: Why IUDs Are Poised To Become The Future Of Birth Control
After decades out of favor, the intrauterine device is making a comeback. This small, T-shaped form of birth control, which is placed in a woman’s uterus and prevents pregnancy for between three and 10 years, has carried a stigma in the United States ever since the 1970s, when one notoriously flawed model, the Dalkon Shield, caused septic miscarriages and infertility in thousands of American women. But now, health-care providers are trumpeting the safety—and efficacy—of the models currently on the market (Nora Caplan-Bricker, 9/2)