BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7052.310 (Published 03 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:310

Follow up of 526 women treated at the Royal Free Hospital, London, for menorrhagia by endometrial resection found that only 9% underwent hysterectomy within five years (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;335:151-6). A yearly questionnaire showed that at least 85% of the women thought that their bleeding was controlled, and between 79% and 87% were satisfied with the results of their surgery. The crucial question is whether the introduction of this less invasive treatment will lead to many more women being treated, so increasing rather than saving expenditure.

All the current concern about scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy is based on the belief that proteinaceous infective particles (prions) are responsible for the unusual resistance of the infective material to heat and radiation. Yet as “Science” (1996;273:184-9) points out, the existence of prions is only a hypothesis. They have yet to be made in the laboratory—the “experiment of the decade.”

For more than 10 years reports have been in circulation suggesting a link between electric power supplies and some types of cancer, and the belief is now firmly lodged in the public's minds. The scientific basis for any association is, however, weak—at least for adult cancers. A review (Occupational and Environmental Medicine 1996;53:505-10) of the epidemiological and case-control studies on which the …

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