The Wise Owl

Who gives a hoot?  What gives a hoot? What is a hoot?

Intrigue your wit.  The Wise Owl will provide frequent medical conundra. Down the road, we will add some faculty top tens, top wines, top restaurants, top.. you get the point.

The newest Fekete Question is:

In 2011, the NLST study was published and showed a mortality benefit for smokers who had screening for lung cancer. This led to screening recommendations by national health agencies. If you could imagine a new treatment for lung cancer that reduces mortality by 50% (interpret that in any way you like), how would that impact the recommendation?

Here’s the link to the trial:

NEJM 2011 – Reduced Lung-Cancer Mortality with Low-Dose Computed Tomographic Screening


From 11/23/16:

We’re kicking of this Cryptic Owl’s Corner with a contest from Dr Fekete.

The Fekete Question..only for the intrepid

“Given that the National Cancer Institute estimates the lifetime risk of breast cancer to be 12.3% (1 in 8 women), should we advocate for prophylactic mastectomy for all women as soon as they have completed child bearing/breast feeding?

For this analysis, assume that there would be no interference with breastfeeding in this policy. Also assume that mastectomies provide 80% protection against breast cancer.

It is fine to advocate for cultural and personal preferences, but I would like you to present a scientific/clinical argument as well.

  • Would you advocate for or against this policy? Why?
  • Could you calculate a number needed to treat in this setting?
  • Could you calculate a hazard ratio based on the data I have provided?

You can provide qualitative or quantitative arguments.

The person with the most cogent arguments will get a special prize from T Fekete!”

Email Dr Tom Fekete your argument asap to be eligible to win!