Talk:Dressed to Kill (book)
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Questioning the application of WP:MEDRS in the synopsis section of an article on a book; major improvements completely wiped out
Mastcell, rather than start an edit war, I'd appreciate a discussion on the obliteration you have done to the changes I have made in this article, which I believe were improvements on revealing the true content of the book. I recognize you and WhatamIdoing are major contributors to WP:MEDRS and I support your objectives to ensure Wikipedia does not become a source for false information. I do assume we all want to present as much truth as possible in an unbiased way. And we must do it through reliable sources and follow the WP guidelines established for writing articles. With that in mind, here are my points I would like to discuss.
Your edit summary descriptions for why you keep reverting edits from others trying to improve the article by including material either cited directly in the book or related to the book makes me believe you view this article as a general article on bras and the link to breast cancer. If that was the case, I am more likely to be in support of many of your comments relative to WP:MEDRS. However, this is an article about a book which talks about that topic. Like all book articles, it includes a synopsis section. As editors, we have a responsibility to present an unbiased view of the book and its contents, and not on the general topic it discusses.
I see in the following FA ad GA book articles, there is ample material directly presenting the author's opinion or specifically what they wrote on their topic in the book.
- On the Origin of Species
- An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory
- Race Against Time: Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa
- Dreamtime (book)
- Ways That Are Dark
- Compulsory Miseducation
- Washington: A Life
- The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science
These other GA media articles also support my opinion that the topic of the article is allowed to be presented as it is published irrespective of criticisms of the content.
What is consistent is that none of these articles are restricted from presenting anything that is covered in the book in the synopsis section.
I will also point out The Bell Curve (you are likely aware of this one) is another book with a similarly controversial topic at the core of the book. The entire first section of the article titled Synopsis covers just that, a synopsis of the book showing all the key points of the book, including a table of IQ levels for different economic and social criteria. Numerous entries in that section cite the book itself. This article is subject to active arbitration remedies to ensure WP:NPOV, WP:V, WP:OR, & WP:PSTS (which you are likely already aware).
If you believe this discussion should be taken to Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources (medicine) (or any other location you recommend), I'd be happy to do so.
To my specific concerns in Dressed to Kill:
1. You removed the new section discussing all the studies noted in the book. You said "absolutely not; this is a canonical violation of WP:MEDRS and WP:WEIGHT; we *cannot* misinform readers and scare them by making it sound like this book's claims have significant scientific support when there is, in fact, a clear scientific consensus that bras don't cause breast cancer."
My concern is that the article is about the book and 100% of that synopsis material is in the book. Each of those studies was discussed in the book. If other FA and GA book articles include content presented by the author of the book, then this is no different.
But even in the case that WP:MEDRS applied directly to what an author says in the book about which the article is written, in all but one case, the studies listed were other studies not conducted by the book's authors. Dressed to Kill is, therefore, a secondary source for those studies. I see in Review article "The concept of "review article" is separate from the concept of peer-reviewed literature. It is possible for a review article itself to be peer-reviewed or non-peer-reviewed." I see nothing that says a book cannot serve as a review article and therefore a secondary source.
Secondary source says: "...a document or recording that relates or discusses information originally presented elsewhere...A secondary source is one that gives information about a primary source. These sources contain second hand [sic] information that has already appeared in primary documents."
All of the studies (excluding the 1995 Singer & Grismaijer study) included source links to the primary research shown in the book and confirmed with direct searches for those studies.
But since I contend WP:MEDRS does not apply to the book about which an article is written for the synopsis section, I request all of the entries I added which were cited in the book be restored.
Your systematic reversal of the changes in that one prior edit also made the following unsubstantiated changes. I would request that each of them be returned to the article, or explain why you reverted them.
1. Removed my newly added inline citations - you removed a number of additional inline citations I added that point to the specific pages of the book that make each point as is recommended WP practice in controversial topics.
2. WP:CLAIM - you removed the changes I made around the WP:CLAIM fixes I made. Possibly you or others have reverted similar edits to this article in the past as well. Is there a reason you are violating this WP:MOS guideline? This also seems to violate WP:IMPARTIAL.
3. Author name order - you reverted all the corrections I made to fix the order of the authors to match the actual books in numerous entries.
4. Specific values with citations removed - you reverted what appears to be multiple clarifications I made to values from generalizations to more specific values with page citations to confirm them.
5. Word change (course > flow) for improved understanding - you reverted an improvement I made to a word choice that was confusing with the use of "course" and I replaced it with "flow", thereby eliminating the confusion.
6. Removal of book content and subsequent over simplification - you reverted my improvement of a prior point from:
- Among the many results reported from their study, they said that women who wore a bra 24 hours a day were 125 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who were bra-free. Those women who wore their bra more than 12 hours, but not to bed were associated with a lower instance of cancer, but much higher than the bra-free women. Their study also said that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men.
- They argue that women who wear a bra 24 hours a day are 125 times more likely to have breast cancer than women who are bra-free. Their study also claims that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men.
I don't believe this over simplification was needed.
7. Removal of author's content without explanation - you removed the following content with inline citations from the book in the synopsis section with an edit summary of "amend". I believe that content is relevant to the context of discussing the book. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dressed_to_Kill_(book)&diff=next&oldid=850583544
- In addition, they state carcinogenic substances that we take into our bodies through petrochemically polluted food, air, and water flow throughout the body, including the breast tissue, need to be flushed from the tissues by the lymphatic system.
8. ACS site quotation change - The original ACS entry used a quote from their website from a web archive. I found a current quote from their website. You reverted my change to show the old quote in the main page and then added the current quote as a footnote in the references with an explanation of "fix acs ref". It appears you now have an actual quote for the ACS with no link to a source showing it. Why would you change what I improved with a more current quote?
9. Removal of lung cancer reference - you removed an entry based on the book itself with the following edit summary "rm; this isn't true and would require a better source" https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dressed_to_Kill_(book)&diff=next&oldid=850585052
- To dismiss critics of their work, they claim the mainstream medical organizations all denied the link between smoking and lung cancer for decades after the initial research was published.
That reference used an inline citation of the book with pages 146-148 (before your initial revert). How is the book itself not a good enough source for discussing something said in the book in the synopsis section? And if they said it in the book, why are you saying it is not true?
10. Self Publishing - The second edition of Dressed to Kill is traditionally published by Square One Publishers. The original first edition was traditionally published by Avery Press. There was a short time that the first edition was self-published and that was explained previously by another editor. The fact that it is currently in print in its second edition with a traditional publisher should overrule any mention of being self-published. Also, the current sentence says "After self-publishing Dressed to Kill, Singer and Grismaijer wrote..." That is not even accurate for the time they were self-published. They self published in either 2002 or 2006 (it is unclear from their ISCD printed version copyright information). Their other books were all published before 2002. So the true statement would be "After publishing Dressed to Kill, Singer and Grismaijer wrote..." because before 2002 the only version of the book available was the Avery Press traditionally published version not the self-published version.
11. Removal of Maori of New Zealand and Westernized cultures - you removed this content that was discussed in the book with the following edit summary: "rm; we have to be careful about uncritically repeating dubious claims from the book, given its poor reception by reputable sources) https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dressed_to_Kill_(book)&diff=next&oldid=850585115 The original citation included the inline source from the book where they made that statement as included in the synopsis section. How is that a repeat of anything in the article? Again, I see other FA and GA book and media articles which include what the author/writer says in their book/media regardless of the reception. See initial disagreement over carrying WP:MEDRS restriction to the author of the book on which the article is based in the synopsis section.
I appreciate your consideration of my points and look forward to the restoration of these reverted items if you agree with my opinion. I'm happy to do that for you if that is more convenient. § Music Sorter § (talk) 00:00, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
- Well... I am generally biased towards trying to keep something from anyone who contributes to an article, but, wow: those edits are really misleading. Consider this sentence, which was proposed for the first paragraph: "Support for the bra-cancer link is mixed. Since the original publication of the book, additional studies around the world have been conducted which support the link, while others state more research is needed."
- Candidly – and I'm sure this isn't intentional - this sounds like something straight out of the authors' publicity campaign materials. I mean, really: a couple of cherry-picked "additional studies support the link" – cited to the authors themselves, who could hardly be an unbiased, or even competent, source of information – and "more research is needed" for the opposite POV? What happened to the fact that every major scientific organization says this idea is factually wrong? Seriously, this idea, which basically originated with these two, gets described under titles like "Ridiculous Claim of the Week: Bras Can Cause Cancer" and "The unsinkable rubber duck of a myth" and "One more time: No, wearing a bra does not cause breast cancer". (I recommend reading every single paragraph in all three of those links.) Where's that POV in this sentence? The mainstream medical POV isn't that there's something worth investigating here; it's that these non-scientists had an interesting idea based on very limited field research, it didn't happen to pan out, and if they were actually scientists rather than social studies people, they'd stop pushing this idea and try to come up with another idea.
- And just in case it's not clear what I mean by "very limited field research", let me explain: Counting up who self-reports bra-wearing and who doesn't is an okay place to start, but it's just not enough. You need to also count up who has any of the known risk factors and who doesn't, including, to name only a few: who has adopted, right along with their Western clothing, the high-sugar, high-fat Western diet, the Western levels of alcohol consumption (a factor that single-handedly causes 16% of breast cancer in developed countries!), the Western use of tobacco, the higher Western age at first birth, the lower Western number of pregnancies, the limited Western engagement in breastfeeding, the Western use of hormonal contraceptives, the Western sedentary lifestyle, and the Western overconsumption of food. Oh, and the Western tendency for most women to survive past menopause (because if you die from complications of childbirth or diarrhea or pneumonia or injuries when you're young, then you tend not to develop breast cancer) and the Western tendency to get screened for, and therefore diagnosed with, breast cancer – and to know that it's actually breast cancer, and not, e.g., melanoma or lymphoma or lung cancer that is first noticed when it spreads to the breast. Like I said: "very limited field research", and completely inadequate for sustaining this hypothesis. A hypothesis, by the way, that seems to have started with a Fijian woman asking his wife whether her ill-fitting bra was comfortable, and their research was mostly conducted in an ethnic group where most women died before the average age that breast cancer strikes, and where "non-Westernized" women usually died substantially before the "Westernized" ones. This is hardly a convincing basis for their claim, and in the end, their beautiful theory has been destroyed by some ugly facts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:14, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
- Basically, what she said. To be clear, my overriding motivation is ensuring that people visiting this site are accurately informed, or at least not actively misinformed, about medical issues. The central claim of this book—that bra-wearing causes breast cancer—has been pretty conclusively debunked and rejected by reputable researchers and medical bodies. I found your edits extremely misleading because they sought to "teach the controversy" where none actually exists. If someone reads this article and goes away thinking that bra-wearing caused their breast cancer, or is increasing their risk of developing breast cancer, then we've failed in a pretty basic ethical responsibility.
- To take your specific points:
- Words like "claimed" are completely appropriate in cases where a claim has been substantially debunked or shown to be false. This is such a case.
- Author name order: if you'd like to switch the author name order back, go ahead. I don't feel strongly about it.
- Self-publishing: If you think this is incorrect then I'm fine with removing the words "self-published".
- Generally, when we summarize the book's content, we should do so using reliable secondary sources to identify points of emphasis. If we just pick ideas from the book and string them together into a synopsis, then we run the risk of original research. After all, I might choose one set of quotes/claims from the book to emphasize, and you might choose another. The best solution to this dilemma is to rely on summaries of the book's content from independent, reliable secondary sources, which is what my edits aimed to do. MastCell Talk 00:57, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
MastCell (and WhatamIdoing),
Thanks for replying and explaining your edits and perspective on this article.
- Author Name order - I appreciate that you will not resist my correcting the author name order to that which is printed in the book. I will make those changes.
- Self-Publishing - I appreciate that you will not resist my correcting the facts around the self-publishing entry. I will make those changes.
Mastcell, to my initial comments, I listed 11 points of concern for my edits which were reverted with confusing, little, or no edit summary explaining the removal, but you only responded to a few of them. If you want, I can relist each of them which you have not responded, but I would sincerely appreciate a brief summary on each of the remaining unanswered questions from the original 11. I look forward to your response on any of these items for which you believe I am wrong and without WP guidelines or MoS support.
Also, I’m not judging or saying it is a requirement, but did either of you actually read the book to better understand what the authors are contending in order to comment on any summary of the book? I'm not proposing original research, but I am proposing we follow the WP guidelines. I am concerned that you both seem to have a very biased opinion on this topic solely based on the commentary from the critics you seem to be citing. In the review to Delete the page in 2008, MastCell called it "notable nonsense." I would argue that is a very biased statement and may cause question as to the neutrality of any edits from someone with that opinion.
- WP:CLAIM - MastCell, you said: "Words like "claimed" are completely appropriate in cases where a claim has been substantially debunked or shown to be false. This is such a case." I have reviewed all the WP guidelines and I have not seen that reference. What is your WP source for that statement? Also, under what criteria has this claim been substantially debunked or shown to be false? If you read through the rest of this post, you will see my opinion that there is substantially more support for the claim than not. But it is certainly not debunked based on everything I have seen so far. The ACS statement in the article addressing this issue states, "There is no good scientific or clinical basis for this claim, and a 2014 study of more than 1,500 women found no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer risk.” Of course, one study does not debunk an issue, especially when there are numerous studies which show an association. The NCI statement in the article is, "Breast implants, using antiperspirants, and wearing underwire bras do not increase the risk for breast cancer.” This is merely a statement, and with no justification or citations to support their statement. Medical theories are not “substantially debunked” by statements of opinion and one study.
- Book Summary/Synopsis - MastCell, you said a few things I wanted to discuss further. You said:
- "...ensuring that people visiting this site are accurately informed, or at least not actively misinformed, about medical issues."
- "The book has been conclusively debunked and rejected by reputable researchers and medical bodies."
- "The edits sought to "teach the controversy" where none actually exists."
- "If someone reads this article and goes away thinking that bra-wearing caused their breast cancer, or is increasing their risk of developing breast cancer, then we've failed in a pretty basic ethical responsibility.”
These comments suggest you want to censor this book, presumably to protect the public from what you consider medical misinformation. That is not our role as editors according to WP:NOTCENSORED.
I contend that this article is a review of the book Dressed to Kill. I also contend this is clearly a controversial issue and must follow the same WP policies and MoS that the other previously noted controversial books follow. Assuming you agree this book covers a controversial topic, I point to WP:CONTROVERSY. In the first section we are asked to "Describe the controversy": "Next, the article should accurately describe their views, no matter how misguided or repugnant. Where a person or organization has released published statements about their aims or objectives, these can be summarized for the reader". Well, this is easy enough. They wrote a book about their theory. It seems we should be stating their view and using the book as the source of that information.
While this WP entry is a book review, not a public debate, it needs to show both sides of the debate/controversy, not just the opposition. Critics of the book argue that there are no scientific studies which support the link. However, the authors wrote in the book about quite a few studies which support the link that were conducted before and after their own studies. I have found no WP guideline or MoS entry that supports omitting the “evidence” that the authors use to claim support for their theory/notion/idea. I have found no WP guideline or MoS entry that says a book summary must come from a secondary source to identify points of emphasis.
Therefore, I believe it is very relevant and non-controversial from either perspective to include in the summary all the studies identified in the book. In the critic section, we would then add any other rebuttals from critics. That is how all the other controversial book articles are written that I linked for your review in the original post. If you are concerned that I would somehow cherry pick ideas from the book that would only have one perspective and you would have a different one, then, by all means, add any other relevant material to the synopsis that you believe is relevant. At this point, I think the studies are key and should be included as I entered them before you removed them.
As a reminder, here is what I added to the synopsis. The numbers are references to the now removed citations of the book page and the actual study, article, and patent that are all noted in the book:
Covered by the book
The following studies, medical articles, and patents were discussed in the second edition of Dressed to Kill. The majority of them either indicate a positive link between wearing a bra and breast cancer or recommend further investigation.
- 1929 - Dr. W. Sampson Handley told the British Medical Association that he believed "the origin of cancer is intimately associated with local obstruction of the lymph vessels in the area where the cancer arises."
- 1931 - Dr. William Mayo published an article that reasoned "cancer of the breast occurs largely among civilized women. In those countries where breasts are allowed to be exposed, that is, are not compressed or irritated by clothing, it is rare.”
- 1939 - Dr. M.A.R. Young published an article discussing a study of the rarity of breast cancer in Ukrainian women living in Canada. He surmised that both increased lactation and non-constrictive clothing contribute to this state and suggested further study of the Canadian-born Ukranian women.
- 1942 - Catherine Elberfeld was granted a patent for a new bra design which stated one of the objectives of the design was "to permit easy breathing and to avoid cutting or chafing, which might give rise to cancer or other serious trouble."
- 1950 - Henry Plehn was granted a patent for an improved bra design which noted "Even in the proper breast size, most brassieres envelop or bind the breast in such a fashion that normal circulation and freedom of movement is constricted. Many cases of breast cancer have been attributed to such breast constriction as caused by improperly fitted brassires [sic]."
- 1991 - CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos published results from their study which found, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users (P about 0.09), possibly because they are thinner and likely to have smaller breasts.”
- 1995 - Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer published the results of their US study of 4,720 women which proposed a link between bras and breast cancer, recommending further study is warranted.
- 1996 - Dr. Michael Schachter wrote that poor lymphatic drainage may play a role in breast cancer formation. "The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast."
- 2000 - Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer published a follow-up study of 28 Fijian women with breast cancer noting that all of them wore bras in a country were roughly 50% of all women wore bras.
- 2009 - A Chinese study of women investigating the risk factors for breast cancer found bras with underwires and sleeping in a bra had a positive relationship to breast cancer development.
- 2009 - Ted Gansler of the American Cancer Society published a letter to the editor noting that results from a National Cancer Institute study of armpit lymph node removal as part of melanoma treatment: "The surgery, which is known to block lymph drainage from breast tissue, did not detectably increase breast cancer rates, the study found, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that wearing a bra, which affects lymph flow minimally if at all, would do so." In response to the study, Singer noted three concerns. First, bras harm the breasts over decades, not the ten years or less for each patient in this study. Second, the study said that the lack of increase in breast cancer incidences was statistically insignificant to be conclusive. Third, skin cancer rates increased by 700% indicating a link between lymphatic impairment and cancer.
- 2009 - Dr. Arunachalam Kumar published an article that hypothesizes that heating of the breasts by bras causes breast cancer.
- 2011 - Marcos Eduardo Quijada Stanovich published his study of 73 women concluded that wearing a bra for more than 12 hours per day increased the chances of breast cancer.
- 2014 - Lu Chen, et al., at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a study funded by the National Cancer Institute to review the bra wearing habits and breast cancer risk of 1,513 postmenopausal women. Their study found "no aspect of bra wearing, including bra cup size, recency, average number of hours a day worn, wearing a bra with an underwire, or age first began regularly wearing a bra, was associated with risks" of breast cancer. The study included a detailed examination of women's lifestyle and bra-wearing habits and found no correlation between bra use and cancer. The study also noted it did not compare women who wear a bra to women who do not wear a bra. Singer noted the exclusion of women under 55 and lacking a control group of bra-free women made this study similar to examining lung cancer among smokers without a non-smoking control group, only looking at lifetime smokers, and concluding smoking has no effect on lung cancer.
- 2015 - N. A. Othieno-Abinya, et al., at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, studied 694 women to look at known risk factors associated with breast cancer. They found, "Women who wore brassieres all the time, even when in bed were significantly associated with breast cancer occurrence as compared with those who never wore brassieres, or those whom only did so on important occasions (p<0.001).”
- 2015 - Winnie KW So, et al., at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied 12 prior studies on breast cancer and bra use and determined bra wearing during sleep was associated with a 100% increase in breast cancer probability but further research was needed to draw reliable conclusions about bra use during waking hours.
- 2016 - Salete da Silva, et. al., studied 304 women looking at the number of hours women wore a bra and the percentage of stretch of that bra and found, "a correlation between wearing a tight bra for several hours per day and an increased risk of developing breast cancer.”
- 2016 - Dr. Parvis Gamagami published a book based on his 50 years of medical expertise observing over 350,000 mammograms. He reported 20%-30% of breast cancer cases developed in a semi-circular line around the breast where the bra underwire presses hard, convincing him that bras can provoke breast cancer.
Published after the book
The following related article was released after the second edition of Dressed to Kill was published.
- 2018 - Sydney Singer published an article discussing the link between lymph stasis and cancer and how constriction from the bra is likely contributing to the lymph stasis and increasing the incidence of breast cancer. He recommended further study.
This list above is not a cherry-picked list of studies. These are all the studies listed in the book either supporting the link or saying there is no link. If there are other studies that disprove (or prove) this link, please show me. I have searched for any other studies, and I have found none. I only find articles from critics which:
- Cite the 2014 Hutch study,
- Are the opinions of the author of the article critical of the bra-breast cancer link, or
- Are the opinions of a cancer professional or a doctor interviewed in the article critical of the bra-breast cancer link.
Note that I certainly respect the opinions of doctors and researchers, but I do so on both sides of any debate as I try to understand the facts.
As stated earlier, I only found the 2014 Fred Hutch/Lu Chen study, that the anti-cancer link advocates always discuss, that has any statement concluding that their (Hutch) study disproves the link between bras and breast cancer. However, that study also includes a statement in their section on study limitations that they did not include any control group of women who don't wear bras. They said that bra wearing was too ubiquitous to find any women who didn't wear bras. That sounds pretty strange given that we have three sources on Bra#Usage that claim it is somewhere between 5 and 25%. The other studies noted that they were able to find the non-bra wearing women for their studies. So why is a study focused on debunking a claim of the bra and breast cancer link not considering any women who never wore a bra? If you only look at bra-wearing women, how can you conclude the impact of bra use if 100% of all the women in the study were subject to the very article for which they were trying to disprove an association? This is why there are control groups in scientific studies.
By analogy, let’s say we will determine if drinking alcohol can lead to a driving accident by doing a study similar to this Hutchinson study. We set up a study to only test drunk drivers and ask them how many drinks they typically have before driving drunk, and see if there is an association with the number of drinks consumed and the incidence of accidents from drunk driving. We see that some drunk drivers crash (some bra-wearers get cancer) and others don't (some bra wearers don't get cancer), and it doesn’t seem to matter if they had three, four or five drinks before driving drunk. We therefore conclude that alcohol was not a contributing factor in crashes for drunk drivers. Hopefully, it is clear to everyone that the test fails to include a control group of non-drunk drivers by which you can compare the ratio of drunk accidents vs. non-drunk accidents. I think most high school science students would understand this problem.
The only other “study” used by anti-cancer link advocates to discredit the link was not peer-reviewed and was not directly about the bra issue. It was a letter to the editor written by Ted Gansler of the ACS, discussing his analysis of NCI data regarding melanoma patients who had had lymph nodes removed. Ted Gansler wrote a letter with his opinion of the study. He said, "The surgery, which is known to block lymph drainage from breast tissue, did not detectably increase breast cancer rates, the study found, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that wearing a bra, which affects lymph flow minimally if at all, would do so." The book noted three concerns with Ted Gansler assertation. First, bras harm the breasts over decades, not the ten years or less for each patient in this study. Second, the study said that the lack of increase in breast cancer incidences was statistically insignificant to be conclusive. Third, skin cancer rates increased by 700% indicating a link between lymphatic impairment and cancer.
Besides this letter and the Hutch study, there are no other studies that are used to refute the link. Do you know of any others?
I have seen reports, and WhatamIdoing has commented, that the Singer/Grismaijer study was flawed because it did not account for other known causes of cancer. The authors argue in the book that certain factors that would not affect bra usage could be excluded, because these factors should be the same for the different groups being studied. The authors state in the book that number of children, for example, which is related to breast cancer risk, was not included in their study because it was not relevant to bra wearing attitudes and behaviors, which is what the authors were studying. However, while number of children was excluded, they did study whether the women breastfed, which the authors state is a relevant factor that could affect bra usage. I would like to also note that this criticism of not including all variables and factors can be made against any study, since all studies necessarily limit their scope to relevant factors/variables, and there are always unknown factors/variables that may affect results. On the other hand, it is interesting to note that, if the authors are correct in their claim about bras causing cancer, then this criticism of ignoring relevant variables/factors could also be leveled against breast cancer research that has ignored bra usage.
WhatamIdoing - You said "A hypothesis, by the way, that seems to have started with a Fijian woman asking his wife whether her ill-fitting bra was comfortable, and their research was mostly conducted in an ethnic group where most women died before the average age that breast cancer strikes, and where "non-Westernized" women usually died substantially before the "Westernized" ones. This is hardly a convincing basis for their claim, and in the end, their beautiful theory has been destroyed by some ugly facts." If you stop reading the book on page 5, you might draw that conclusion. But if you read on, you will find that the study on which the authors wrote the book is completely different from what you may have been led to believe. Their study was discussed on page 78 (2nd ed) and says their study included:
- 5 major cities across the US (SF, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, & NY).
- Exclusively caucasian women to keep the study population as consistent as possible.
- 4,730 women; approx 400 women per city who had been diagnosed with breast cancer & approx 500 women who had no known diagnosis of breast cancer.
Even if you believe the anti-cancer link advocates who say the Singer/Grismaijer 1995 study is flawed, how can you ignore the other studies? (These are all in the book and I had full inline citations from the book and each of the studies.)
- 1991 - CC Hsieh - study - “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users (P about 0.09), possibly because they are thinner and likely to have smaller breasts.”
- 2000 - Singer and Grismaijer - follow-up study - 28 Fijian women with breast cancer; 100% of them wore bras in a country were roughly 50% of all women wore bras.
- 2009 - Chinese study - "bras with underwires and sleeping in a bra had a positive relationship to breast cancer development."
- 2011 - Marcos Eduardo Quijada Stanovich - study - wearing a bra for more than 12 hours per day increased the chances of breast cancer.
- 2015 - N. A. Othieno-Abinya - study - "Women who wore brassieres all the time, even when in bed were significantly associated with breast cancer occurrence as compared with those who never wore brassieres, or those whom only did so on important occasions (p<0.001).”
- 2015 - Winnie KW So - secondary source study - studied 12 prior studies on breast cancer and bra use and determined bra wearing during sleep was associated with a 100% increase in breast cancer probability but further research was needed to draw reliable conclusions about bra use during waking hours.
- 2016 - Salete da Silva - study - found "a correlation between wearing a tight bra for several hours per day and an increased risk of developing breast cancer.”
- 2016 - Dr. Parvis Gamagami - study - 20%-30% of breast cancer cases developed in a semi-circular line around the breast where the bra underwire presses hard, convincing him that bras can provoke breast cancer.
I count 8 other studies all noted in the book that show a link between bra wearing and breast cancer. I have not seen any evidence to say all these studies are wrong. Aside from the 2014 Fred Hutch study (with the comments noted earlier), I have not seen any other studies that say they disprove the bra-breast cancer link. I don't believe that any scientist or doctor would ever contend that a single study could adequately disprove any theory.
So, therefore, I think my originally proposed introductory paragraph adjustment is appropriate given the evidence available to us as editors creating an unbiased book review synopsis based on what is in the book. But WhatamIdoing's comment that my addition is not appropriate and very one-sided did not include the rest of the paragraph, which shows the original two organizations that dismiss the claim. Together it appears we have both sides of the story. The support for the claim is in fact mixed. 8 studies say there is a link and one study says there is not. To be honest, I think this intro paragraph is very appropriate given the known studies. "Support for the bra-cancer link is mixed. Since the original publication of the book, additional studies around the world have been conducted which support the link, while others state more research is needed. Some major medical and cancer organizations, including the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society, dismiss the claim as unsubstantiated."
As for the links provided by WhatamIdoing, I read each link clear through to the end as requested and found the following:
-- Dr. David Gorski - Opinion - Many of his blog entries start with quackery in the first paragraph. After reading a few of the posts on Sciencebasedmedicine.org, read this for another perspective. May I ask that you read this one through to the end as I did for yours? https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/a-critical-review-of-science-based-medicine/
-- Orac - Unsinkable rubber duck - Opinion (same blog with another name) - This entry is a carbon copy of David Gorski that was originally posted just two days later. Is there a reason for showing the same identical content as another entry when it is clearly the same blog at a different site?
-- Evan Bernstein - Opinion - Cited Dr. David Gorski to refute the Gwyneth Paltrow/Goop article supporting the Bra/Cancer link.
I look forward to your response on any of these items for which you believe I am wrong and without WP guidelines or MoS support.
- Seriously, a 23,919 byte comment? Your arguments would be much more effective if you could present them in a more direct and concise way. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:05, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
- I've spent more than 10 years here explaining the basics of how science works to editors who are angry about Wikipedia's treatment of dubious health claims. I don't really have the patience to do so anymore. WhatamIdoing has done a good job of explaining the basic fallacies underlying the claims in this book. One of my colleagues actually uses this book's claims to illustrate the impact of unmeasured confounders and sloppy thinking in an introductory course on clinical statistics; maybe I can just find a link to one of her lectures to forward to you.
- In any case, the key is understanding how the book's claims have been viewed by credible, reputable, knowledgeable bodies. It seems clear that:
- No reputable major medical body considers bra use to be a risk factor for breast cancer; and
- The two most prominent and credible expert bodies on cancer in the US (the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society) both explicitly say that bra use is not a risk factor for breast cancer.
- You (MusicSorter) seem intent on arranging an alternative timeline of cherry-picked sources in order to "rebut" the conclusions of experts in the field, or at least to muddy the waters by "teaching the controversy". That's not an appropriate use of Wikipedia. MastCell Talk 18:47, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
- MastCell, in case you didn't have a chance to read my last two replies in detail, here is a summary of my concerns for your reverts on my changes to this article:
- 1. You have not provided edit summaries for why you reverted all 11 of my originally requested list in this thread. You only responded to three or four. I don't think the number of years or times you reply to other editors has any basis for your responding to my questions on reverts to my edits that I have not seen made to this article in the past. I believe all of my changes are in compliance with WP:CONTROVERSY, WP:NOTCENSORED, WP:CLAIM, WP:IMPARTIAL, WP:NPOV, WP:OR, WP:PSTS, and WP:CHERRYPICKING.
- 2. There are no WP guidelines which require an external source to be used for a book article when creating the summary section of the book, no matter the content or subject of the book.
- 3. In response to your specific statement: "You (MusicSorter) seem intent on arranging an alternative timeline of cherry-picked sources in order to "rebut" the conclusions of experts in the field, or at least to muddy the waters by "teaching the controversy". Anyone can review my edits and see I was simply adding the list of all studies noted in the book as part of the book summary. I included the comments from the authors noting the issues with various studies. I included the non-supporting studies as well to ensure WP:NPOV. No studies have been excluded, so how do you claim WP:CHERRYPICKING with me? Show me a study I did not include. My timeline of the studies was chronological. What timeline would you propose? By including the studies, we give the reader a summary of what the critics are critical of in the first place. Your refusal to include a summary of known studies on both sides of this controversy appears to violate just about every WP guideline I have noted in point 1 above.
- If you are willing to discuss each of my changes one by one, I am willing to do so with you. That way I can propose a change and you can identify what WP guideline you believe it violates. I think this is the only way to get to the next step here. § Music Sorter § (talk) 05:35, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
- A few replies, doubtless incomplete:
- Yes, I read this book a few years back. I can no longer remember whether I finished it, but I read more of it than I wanted to at the time.
- Yes, I read the SBM critic. I did not find "Joe" persuasive. I copied a few lines that struck me as being particularly strange:
- "This means you shouldn’t form beliefs one way or the other. Your attitude should be one of not knowing if you want to be truly skeptical." In other words, his mind is so open that his brains fell out.
- "If you ask them about any remedy that isn’t proven by science, they will tell you the chance is close to zero that it works." Although I see that SBM has disagreed with this, I think this is a perfectly fair starting position, since it's what you find in pharmaceutical research. The chance that any given molecule will do what you hope it will do is close to zero.
- "I know supplements have an effect because I keep upping the dosage until I’m certain I feel an effect." I found myself wondering how often "an effect" was synonymous with "constipation". Or diarrhea.
- "The FDA declares a chemical safe based on animal studies." I'm sure that the pharma folks would be very happy to discover that animal studies are sufficient, but the FDA still seems to be insisting that they conduct Phase I (aka "safety") trials, and indeed that they track safety through Phase II and III trials, and sometimes even in the so-called "Phase IV clinical research", after the FDA has given them marketing authorization.
- No, you're probably not going to get a detailed reply to each and every point from this enormous wall of text, from anyone, ever. WP:TLDR is the law of the internet. It is my own experience that trying to push through 11 points at once is always doomed to failure.
- I don't think that anyone else (except the authors of the book, who are doubtless grateful for your efforts) has any real interest in "getting to the next step here". I think that the relative silence you're getting means that all, or at least nearly all, of the changes you made were a net negative for the article (according to other editors, of course) and that nobody really believes that engaging with you is going to improve the article. I'm sorry if that is blunt to the point of seeming unpleasant, but perhaps it's better for you to know where (IMO) things stand at the moment, so that you can make a clear decision about whether you want to keep "throwing good money (or time) after bad".
- WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:26, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
- A few replies, doubtless incomplete:
- If you are willing to discuss each of my changes one by one, I am willing to do so with you. That way I can propose a change and you can identify what WP guideline you believe it violates. I think this is the only way to get to the next step here. § Music Sorter § (talk) 05:35, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Proposal to expand the summary section with list of tests noted in the book
Continuing from my prior talk page entry, I propose that I make one edit at a time with full WP guidelines and policies noted for each change. That way any other editor can identify what WP guidelines and policies they believe I am violating one change at a time so there is no confusion.
My first edit will be to expand the summary section to include information provided in the book about other studies. This list is noted in my last talk page entry and can be seen in this prior revision of the page. I will be following these WP guidelines:
- WP:CONTROVERSY which says to describe the controversy. Since the controversy includes whether there is any scientific proof of this link between bras and breast cancer and a key part of the book covers the other tests noting the link, I believe including that list of other tests identified in the book is a legitimate and supported change by WP guidelines for controversial topics.
- WP:NOTCENSORED which says as an encyclopedia we should not exclude material simply because some people think it might be objectionable as long as it is not violating any other guidelines.
- WP:MEDRS noting that those guidelines do not control the summary section of a book review article, but certainly cover the critical responses section (which I have not proposed any change yet).
- WP:WEIGHT and WP:CHERRYPICKING which both discuss talking about both sides of the controversy, specifically the tests around the link. We should ensure that both the summary and critical response sections include all the known tests around this topic, which is central to the book. If I have left off any, anyone is welcome to add them.
- The controversial book review article The Bell Curve, already having gone through arbitration, shows us the Synpsis section of the article provides very detailed information on the key points noted in the book. Other FA and GA controversial book reviews noted in my last entry shows similar summaries of the book.
- Secondary source guidelines for medical information is very important. This summary section of the book actually is a secondary source for the entire list of studies noted in the book (excluding the authors' own study of course). One of the studies in the list is actually a secondary source on its own, having looked at numerous other studies and drawing conclusions about those studies.
I believe the change I propose to make is in full compliance with the WP policies, MoS, and guidelines. I believe this would be a good-faith edit to improve this article and better present the controversy itself and a summary of the book as is done in all WP book review articles.
- A list of the studies cited in the book would be a violation of WP:INDISCRIMINATE, which says "To provide encyclopedic value, data should be put in context with explanations referenced to independent sources. As explained in § Encyclopedic content above, merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia."
- A list of every study cited in a book counts as "data". Your proposal does not comply with the policy requirement to put this kind of list "in context with explanations referenced to independent sources".
- (BTW, WP:CONTROVERSY is an essay, not a guideline; WP:NOTCENSORED is a policy, as well as being irrelevant, because nobody's saying that this content is "objectionable or offensive" as those terms are used in that policy.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:42, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
RfC about the summary section of a book review article
Follow up RfC about the summary section of a book review article
Should the summary section of a book review include commentary from the authors about supporting studies, that critics claim don't exist, but which are discussed in the book? § Music Sorter § (talk) 02:25, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
- Yes. The prior RfC was misunderstood by the editors voting. I cannot fault them for the misunderstanding since the question and my initial commentary was discussing two different elements. I spoke to User:Cunard about the problem and it was suggested that I create a specific proposal to be added to the article. My specific proposal for the summary section of the book is as follows:
- In Dressed to Kill, the authors Singer and Grismaijer claim that wearing a tight bra for long hours daily can contribute to breast cancer risk by impairing lymphatic circulation in the breasts due to constriction, creating mild, chronic breast lymphedema that can cause breast pain, cysts, and cancer. They write that lymph circulation can be hampered by tight bras, and describe in detail a survey which they claim to have conducted in 1991-93 on nearly 5,000 women, about half of whom had had breast cancer. The authors conclude that the longer and tighter a bra is worn, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer. In the book's 2018 Second Edition, the authors also give a history of past medical consensus on a bra-cancer link and give examples of patents for less constrictive bras which were based on their book. They also give explanations for why they believe the medical consensus is that there is no correlation between bra-wearing and cancer. In addition to their own work, the authors cite five recent peer-reviewed studies, including one meta-analysis, which report a significant link between bra usage and breast cancer incidence. The authors argue that women should be told about this potential cause of breast cancer, and call for more research. Singer and Grismaijer also discuss one particular 2014 study by Lu Chen, et al., at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which they claim is the only study that has found no correlation between bra-wearing and breast cancer risk. They describe limitations of the study.§ Music Sorter § (talk) 02:25, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
- Addressing concerns from prior RfC In order to move forward on the basic question, I have removed any link to adding a list of studies to the summary section. I was never proposing any specific content in the RfC, but it is clear that most everyone assumed or thought that was the case. Therefore I have now provided what I believe is a neutral proposal for the summary section of the book which is a synopsis of the book per the WP:NONFICTION guidelines. Many of the comments associated with the no votes sound to me like the commenting editors felt this article was on the general topic of bras causing breast cancer. I'd like to remind everyone that this is an article on a book. The topic of the book happens to be about a medical issue and therefore I believe there needs to be a careful review of the overall WP guidelines between the differences of the two article types. § Music Sorter § (talk) 02:25, 17 February 2019 (UTC)