Talk:Mystery:Young Hollywood Breast Cancer Victims

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There may be a solution to this, the average age for being diagnosed with breast cancer is 64, but this doesn't mean that people cannot get breast cancer until they are 64.

You have named five cases where breast cancer has been contracted at a younger age, out of a pool of possibly tens of thousands of subjects (noting that you have expanded the definition of Hollywood to include relatively minor Australian celebrities and musicians). This is well in check with broader society, sadly many people do suffer from breast cancer at a young age. Unless the proportion of young people in general suffering breast cancer is different to the proportion of young "Hollywoodians" suffering breast cancer then there really isn't a mystery here to solve.

The only way that anyone will be able to demonstrate the possibility that Hollywood promotes breast cancer is by using statistics which show that the average age of breast cancer in Hollywood is significantly lower than that of society in general. StatsMsn 22:18, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Medline, one of the largest databases relating to medical articles, returned just two articles for a search of ""Breast Neoplasms (exp)" and "Hollywood". One of these only referenced Hollywood because to establish a timeframe (it was translated from Japanese, and used the term "Hollywood syndrome" in its title) whereas the other referred to the geographic location of a clinic. I think this establishes that there is no medical evidence supporting the claim that Hollywood somehow increases the likelihood of breast cancer. If you have alternative search terms or databases you want me to use post them here and I will. StatsMsn 22:46, 3 May 2008 (EDT)
Conservapedia is not limited to liberal medical journals. We are smart enough, I submit, to observe facts ourselves and let the readers draw conclusions. We do not simply regurgitate readily available information here. We tell the truth, even if it is censored elsewhere.--Aschlafly 23:19, 3 May 2008 (EDT)
Medline reports from almost all major medical journals, it does not discriminate based on political ideology. All you have done is listed a few cases and suggested that being famous and connected to Hollywood somehow increases the risk of breast cancer. You have not provided any evidence that the average age of breast cancer amongst stars is any less than the broader average. It is an unfortunate fact that young people do get breast cancer, but there is nothing to suggest that rate of young people in Hollywood being diagnosed with breast cancer is any different to the rate of young people in broader society. Until you refute this point you cannot claim that there is a mystery. StatsMsn 23:26, 3 May 2008 (EDT)
Mr. Schlafly, as I can see it, you seem to be a fan of false causality. X happened to this person and that person meets Y criteria therefore the event X is related to the criteria Y. If 5 people with brown hair contracts testicular cancer, does that mean that having brown hair predisposes you to testicular cancer? Just because someone meets one criteria and also fits another criteria does not mean they are related. That is exactly why medical studies are done, to establish if there is repeated and explainable links between any two things. You have no idea of these individuals medical history. There are no sources whatsoever to back this claim. Individuals can claim anything they want, it is only statistics and studies that can help justify them.

- AndrasK 23:40, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

A Demonstration

It is suggested that Belinda Emmett being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24 shows that Hollywood increases the risk of breast cancer.

There are around 20 million people in Australia, it's safe to assume that 10 million of those will be female. Using the statistics on the page 1 in 19,608 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the time they're 25, this is approximately 0.0051%. At this rate about 510 Australia women will have been diagnosed with breast cancer by the time they're 25.

Belinda Emmett is one person out of 510 who has been diagnosed with Breast cancer, this is a rate of about 0.2%. Now, film and television in Australia employs about 50,000 people [1] (the best figure I could find for now), this is approximately 0.5% of the population. Assuming that camerawomen and writers have also been diagnosed with breast cancer then I see no reason why the rate of women connected with "Hollywood" and who have been diagnosed with breast cancer is any lower than that of the broader population.

The reason Hollywood seems to have so many young stars being diagnosed with breast cancer is because these cases are very well publicised, but the sad truth is that many young women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and that their cases are largely forgotten. There is no mystery here, and there won't be until someone shows that the average age of breast cancer amongst Hollywood stars is any different to the rest of society. StatsMsn 23:37, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

Good sir, we don't repeat readily known facts here! This is a crusade, good sir, and we're here to EXPOSE the FACT that HOLLYWOOD causes BREAST cancer IN starlets! IndianaJ 00:55, 4 May 2008 (EDT)


When are you going to realise that you cannot base statistical conclusions upon a non-random sample? You are selecting a category of people who are by definition, far, far younger than the normal population (actresses and pop stars being typically in an age range from 18-45). Therefore, any incidences of breast cancer you find within that population will of course appear to trend younger. Please, take Statistics 101 before jumping to such ludicrous conclusions - you're simply making a fool of yourself. Bongabill 14:19, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Bongabill, you're clueless. The 18-45 population of Hollywood certainly can be compared with the 18-45 general population as to incidence of disease. I doubt you've taken half the statistics courses that I have. You have typical liberal style in trying to intimidate.--Aschlafly 14:35, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Sure it can be compared Andy, but you haven't done that. If you compare the number of young Hollywood breast cancer victims (of course you might want to define what you mean by that first) to the rest of the population in the same age group, fine. You haven't done that. You might also want to clarify where you got your 500 from - clearly an estimate, but based on what? Murray 17:47, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

The Hollywood community is a well-understood population that consists of performers and entertainers in movies, television and music. Any ambiguity about that population is insignificant. The incidence of breast cancer in the general population by age is known, and an estimate of a population of 500 female Hollywood types under age 35 or so who would admit to having breast cancer due to performance demands or openness is a reasonable estimate within a factor of 2 or so.
You're free to make suggestions on improving the accuracy. But the attempts below to censor the inquiry altogether are, of course, absurd.--Aschlafly 18:29, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Mr.Schalfly, actually, I am a professional statistician with both graduate and post-graduate degrees in the subject, and also a 34 year professional career as a statistician working for the official statistics bureau of a major nation. Now, of course you can compare the 'Hollywood' 18-45 population to the general 18-45 population, but first you have to define that population. How are you defining your population? Is it that they are living in "Hollywood" - in which case it might be interesting to examine geographical factors upon the incidence of disease? No - as I see you are including Australians who live in the UK, people born in six different countries, and it seems none of the members of your data set are actually from the geographical region of Hollywood, and in fact many of them do not even live there either. So how are you defining members of your data set?
Bongabill, we don't fall for the unproven claims of credentials here. Wikipedia might be a better home for you. Your claim is absurd that no conclusions can be drawn from comparing disease incidence among Hollywood types to the general population. Tell me, did you work for the tobacco industry also in denying that cigarettes cause cancer?--Aschlafly 15:13, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Secondly, I note that your article does not compare your data set to the general 18-45 population, but instead compares it to the general population of 'all ages', quoting an average age of diagnosis of 64 - which is clearly outside your terms of reference. I'm afraid there's absolutely nothing correct here with any of your reasoning, which not only fails Statistics 101, but fails it in the first semester. This article is specious nonsense. Bongabill 14:59, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, I'm glad you're not a professor then. Or are you going to claim that also??? Your "know nothing" approach and liberal denials are nonsensical.--Aschlafly 15:13, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Just to point out, Mr. Schlafly, you fell back on your "record" of statistical courses as evidence to your statistical competency. [[User:AndrasK|AndrasK] 15:27, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I did, in response to credential bullying.--Aschlafly 18:20, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Actually ASchalfly, it was indeed you who first raised the issue of credentials in this thread - your comment "I doubt you've taken half the statistics courses I have" came after Bongabill's first and only comment on Conservapedia, and which never mentioned his or her credentials. StatsFan 18:52, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

All right Andy, I'll make a couple of suggestions. I suggest clarifying the basis of the estimate that there are 500 Hollywood women under 35 who would admit to having breast cancer. I don't understand where the number comes from - what was the method or source used to come up with 500? If that's a good estimate, your comparison is potentially legitimate. Then, I would suggest you do an actual statistical test to determine whether the numbers are significantly different. Murray 18:48, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Female rock stars likely to admit to breast cancer (e.g., due to a performance schedule) number on the magnitude of, at most, 50; female movie stars under 35 are perhaps a 100-200, at most; and other female actresses are perhaps another 100-200. Just look at how many albums and movies are released each year. Also, note that many stars go out of their way to conceal and deny health problems, understandably so. If you dispute any of these numbers, then I'd like to hear why.--Aschlafly 18:58, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
I'm not disputing them, I'm asking where they came from. So you looked up how many albums and movies are typically released in a year and extrapolated from that? Murray 19:05, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
That provides a ballpark estimate. Given that the incidence in the Hollywood community is an order of magnitude larger than the general population, ballpark estimates are enough to reveal a problem.
Note that a ballpark estimate would have -- and should have -- demonstrated that cigarettes cause lung cancer a half century before people accepted it. Millions of lives would have been saved by acting on the evidence available rather than demanding unnecessary statistical detail. Surely you don't defend that.--Aschlafly 19:34, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Andy, my man, a "ballpark estimate" is one thing. Pulling numbers out y'arse is quite another. If this really means something to you, then go and do some proper research. Lord knows you've got enough time on your hands. Reliable numbers may or may not be forthcoming, but at least you'll have tried and you'll be able to argue from a much stronger position if you succeed. Meanwhile, I'd quietly retreat from this one if I were you.
Sincerely, --OscarPeterson 20:24, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

I wonder how many of those who were included in the list of breast cancer cases would be included in the list of 500. If that 500 is based on albums and movies released, it appears that many of those women shouldn't be included. Shirley Temple is the only movie star there. Most appear to be television actresses, and I suspect many more fall into that category than movie actresses. So I suspect that 500 is a pretty big underestimate. Either way though, if you want to make the case, you should include a real statistical analysis. For example, in the last sentence, you could say There is likely no more than 1000 in the population of Hollywood types under age 35 who would have publicly disclose breast cancer. The list above has 8 cases (and growing). The expected rate is only 1.5 out of 1000 in that age group. A chi-square test of proportions indicates that the difference between these groups is not statistically significant, X2 (1 df) = 3.62, p = .109. Murray 21:28, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Why stop at age 35? Try applying your approach to age 30.--Aschlafly 22:25, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Mainly because I think the numbers given in the article have no basis in reality. The 500 is said to be based on the number of movies and albums released each year. According to [2] there are 473 movies each year - I think it's safe to say that nearly all have multiple women who would be included in this list if they had the misfortune to get breast cancer. And taking a look at the list, it's clear that the article is also referring to television actresses, in the US and across the world. So I think 500 is a gross underestimate. Even if the true population of female "Hollywood types" under 30 was 1000 (and I suspect it's more than that), the difference is not significant. Murray 23:28, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
The difference is significant, even if the 500 estimate is low. Realize that the estimate of 500 is not for all female singers and actresses, but only those who have performance schedules requiring disclosure of a personal health problem. A soap opera actress would be an example, of which there are perhaps only 50 in the relevant age group.
Multiple occurrences of a rarely occurring event are statistically significant, and it's incorrect to claim otherwise. There is nothing special about a baseball pitcher who throws only one no-hitter, but there is something special about one who throws three no-hitters, which is analogous to the data here.--Aschlafly 23:42, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, see, there's a couple of problems with that analysis. Let's assume for the moment that your guesstimate of 500 actresses/singers at any one time whose schedules would necessitate an illness disclosure is roughly accurate. Problems: 1)Your examples are not drawn from a single point in time, but from over a period of decades (which would stretch the 500 to thousands). 2)Many of these women, while well-known, were ill at a time in their life when disclosure would not have been necessary (that is, when they were no longer active, and not part of the 500). 3) Many of your examples are deeply obscure, and certainly not part of the 500.--RossC 08:59, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
No, there's definitely something special about a pitcher who throws a no-hitter. -CSGuy 23:54, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Murry you are compeletly wrong. You are using frequentist statistics which was created by that godless, evolution believing, eugenics supporting, liberal Fisher. It is inherently deceitful. You should instead use that devinly inspired Bayesian satitical methods. I suggest an uniform distribution aprior for your parameter. DanielB 22:54, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

An example of why this is fallacious reasoning

  1. The incidence of homosexuality in the general population is about 2-3%[3].
  2. Evangelical preachers Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes, and Roy Clements were found to be homosexuals.
  3. Our study shows incidence of homosexuality in Evangelical preachers is far, far greater than the general population and is instead 100%.
  4. Therefore, all Evangelicial preachers are gay.

Except there's just one thing - we know that's not true. So what's wrong with the reasoning? Selective sampling, that's what's wrong. And which is what you're doing in this article. Bongabill 14:33, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Bongabill, your reasoning is so absurd that it does not merit a response. Learn how to spell "fallacious" and return only if you can figure that out. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 14:35, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Can you point out logical discrepancies between your logic and his? Refusing to respond does not give you credit, it makes you seem even more wrong. If your argument is correct, then why can you not point out problems in his? And by the way, taunting someone regarding one simple spelling error is puerile. AndrasK 14:42, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, duh, the incidence of homosexuality among evangelical preachers is 3 divided by thousands. Should I do the arithmetic for you?--Aschlafly 15:14, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Andy to try and translate Bongabill's reasoning into simpler terms: Selection bias/selective sampling is where the sample you choose for your study is rigged to give an inaccurate result. For example, let us suppose that Planned Parenthood did a study into teens and promiscuity and ecluded teens with STDs and tried to use that study to show teens were having "safe sex". Obviously this would be false since the sample was not representative of the teenage population. Likewise your sample (the list) is inaccurate since it only includes "hollywood" women who ever got breast cancer. Also to ignore Bongabill's point and to point out his spelling mistakes smacks of a childish ad homniem attack, to repeat AndrasK.Luder 16:05, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

This article is utter nonsense. The reasoning is absurd. It is just laughable. So you can name twenty well-known women who have had breast cancer. I can name twenty women I know who have had breast cancer. Does this mean women of my acquaintance are particularly susceptible? No, it's just a meaningless series of cases, anecdotal evidence of nothing whatsoever. This article is the same. Conservapedia really is a parody of itself! Humblpi 17:20, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Folks, your objections are incoherent. The incidence of breast cancer in the Hollywood culture can and should be compared to its incidence in the overall population. I realize that deliberate ignorance is a trademark liberal style, but you're in the wrong place if you think you're going to censor attempts to compare those rates. It can and should be done.--Aschlafly 18:19, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
The incidence of breast cancer in the Hollywood culture can and should be compared to its incidence in the overall population. So where is this done? It is simple (the number of Hollywood types that have breast cancer)/(the number of hollywood types) vs. (the number of the overall population that have breast cancer)/(the number of the overall population). You have failed to provide even the simple mean, neverless the variance in order to conduct a hypothesis test. DanielB 18:38, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
DanielB, you're correct, but that's not all - you would also need to conduct a Chi-Squared Test on the result to see whether or not the variance in the data actually had any statistical significance. Different values are not necessarily statistically significant. There is no valid or relevant statistical analysis in this article, none whatsoever. StatsFan 18:44, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
When the rates are vastly different, as in the case of lung cancer and cigarettes, conclusions can and should be drawn immediately based on the vast differences in the rates. Of course further investigation is welcome, but unlikely to alter the obvious conclusion.--Aschlafly 18:58, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
Vastlty different rates could be the result of the variance of your sample. Your sample size might be too small to draw conclusions or as StatsFan said it might not be significant. Andy you should research statistical hypothesis testing of Student and Fisher instead of being deliberalty ignorant of them. DanielB 19:03, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
See my reply to the more intelligent comments by Murray above.--Aschlafly 19:35, 4 May 2008 (EDT)
What does by a factor of 2 mean? Do you mean a probabilty of less than 2% that the difference in means is a result of random sampling? As you have failed to establish a population size, how do you know the degrees of freedom of your t-distribution? You appear to have a vague understanding of statistic hypothesis testing without any actual working knowledge of how it works. DanielB 20:42, 4 May 2008 (EDT)

Question / Cause

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering what you're postulating is the cause of this apparent epidemic of breast cancer amongst the women of the entertainment industry. A paragraph or two regarding possible causation might help to round out the article.--RossC 09:04, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Based on this, perhaps Hollywood values encompass poor eating habits and abortions as well. Feebasfactor 13:18, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Those who don't have an open mind about a glaring 5-10x increase in breast cancer incidence in the Hollywood community are not likely to have an open mind about causation. The cancer deniers could make a bundle working for the tobacco industry, however.--Aschlafly 13:31, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Geez, Andy, you're not going soft on us, are you? I don't think you've ever censored yourself before in deference to the closed-minded. Would you mind if I worked up a paragraph on causation, or would you rather just skip it? (I don't want to step on your toes) --RossC 14:18, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
RossC, I can't tell if you're serious or not. If you're serious, then please try to improve the entry. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 16:00, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Your argument is hardly convincing. AdenJ 13:53, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

This does seem like a story that's not being covered in the MSM, and I think you've uncovered a real 'sleeper' news story with this original research. Do you have a press agent who can help you publicize it - can you get this into the news 'wires'? I'm sure various Hollywood press organs would be VERY interested in this story - why don't you try and get this to the LA Times, or Variety, or the Hollywood Reporter? This is Front Page material! RobCross 14:07, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Please tell them for us, RobCross. As you can see, the liberals are not happy about this, which means the publications you cite will not publish it.--Aschlafly 16:00, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

Other factors and questions

I would first like to ask if 'Hollywood' is appropriate in the title. How many of these are Hollywood stars? Soap operas, British singers, etc. Shirley Temple retired from movies at 21 in 1949. She had been out of Hollywood for 20 years when she was diagnosed. And is 40 'young'? That also brings up the time frame question - does including a person who was diagnosed with cancer about 40 years ago fit in with trying to correlate it with people from today?

There is also the question of diagnosis. Early diagnosis is the key to identifying and surviving a battle with cancer. People who are wealthy tend to go to the doctor more often, routine check ups and preventive care rather than going to the emergency room. The people listed tend to be in the upper end of the pay spectrum and thus would go to and have access to better medical resources. As such, they would detect cancer at a younger age than those that don't have access to these resources.

The Mayo clinic suggests starting breast self exams at age 20.[4] I am curious if the women here would speak up about the age they started doing breast self exams and the age range that their doctors have informed them that breast cancer can develop along with the risk factors.

Another important factor is identifying family history. Do any of these individuals have a family history of cancer that would make them predisposed to it?

There is also the selection of data. Actresses are famous and everything they do or is done to them tends to find itself in the media. These are the things one would read at a supermarket check out (why is it even here - isn't it the liberal media and National Enquirer that is supposed to have an obsession with celebrities?). This ignores the millions of non-newsworthy men and women and the chances that they get cancer. The young woman down the street who is fighting breast cancer - thats not news and so it doesn't show up beyond a number somewhere. It is just easier to find a list and news reports of famous people.

If there is any statistical significance of this, the math should be shown by the person making the claim. --Rutm 14:34, 5 May 2008 (EDT)

The rates of breast cancer by age in the general population are well-known, and the rates in Hollywood are 5-10x times higher. You don't work for tobacco companies, do you? We don't need to deny the obvious and await 30 more years of censorship.--Aschlafly 16:04, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
Could you point to any study or news article akin to [5]? Have you ruled out other known risk factors? Where is the data to support this? I would be interested to see the data (rather than an list of 20 singers, actresses, and notables that at some time resided in Los Angeles) that supports the assertion. --Rutm 16:11, 5 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't think that Mr Schlafly has to eliminate other risk factors. The claim is only that breast cancer is more prevalent amongst young 'Hollywood types' than others, not that the state of being a 'Hollywood type' causes breast cancer. He doesn't even claim that this this difference is statistically significant. To establish his claim all he has to do is come up with clear definitions of 'Hollywood type' and 'young', determine the size of this group (presumably fewer than the 546,969[6] actresses in the imdb database), take a representative sample thereof, determine the rate of early breast cancer within that group and compare it to the general population. --Jalapeno 17:24, 5 May 2008 (EDT)