Health News Review
  • Nov 18 2014

    IMPROVE-IT heart drug trial news: Game-changer? Or balderdash?

    Lub-dub…lub-dub…. The drumbeat of heart news coming out of the American Heart Association is loud and clear.  But some who read and listen closely are seeing and hearing arrhythmias – disturbances in the signal. The New York Times reported: For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that [...]

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  • Nov 12 2014

    A 15-year retrospective on a shared decision-making encounter, a lawsuit, and not winning

    I didn’t see any news coverage of Dr. Dan Merenstein’s article in JAMA Internal Medicine last week, “PSA Screening — I Finally Won!” Maybe there was some reporting but I missed it. But if there wasn’t any news coverage, maybe that’s understandable.  It was “just” a perspective piece.  It’s based on old news – a [...]

    4 Comments
  • Nov 11 2014

    Pitt urologist peaved by prostate CA ads in NY Times & New Yorker

    Pitt urologist Benjamin Davies writes on a Forbes blog, “Prostate Cancer Advertising: Lies And The Damn Lies (Part 1).” He criticizes ads in the Sunday New York Times Magazine and in The New Yorker from last weekend. He writes: I have a rating system for prostate cancer advertisements based on two self-evident tenets.  First,  cancer advertising [...]

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  • Oct 31 2014

    Radiologists’ free mammography infographic leaves out vital info

    As another Breast Cancer Awareness month closes for another year, let’s take a look at an infographic that the American College of Radiology sent out to journalists earlier this month.  Here’s a portion of the email that I received:   We all make mistakes, but the misspelling of mammography gets this email off to a [...]

    2 Comments
  • Oct 10 2014

    Thanks to American Medical Writers Association for recognizing our work

    At its annual conference in Memphis this week, the American Medical Writers Association presented me with the John P. McGovern Award for preeminent contributions to medical communication. Here are the slides of my award lecture to a terrific turnout of more than 600 people. McGovern Award Lecture – American Medical Writers Association from Gary Schwitzer [...]

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  • Oct 6 2014

    Colons want a piece of the action of Pinktober, too

    About 20 years ago, I learned how the Us Too prostate cancer advocacy group got its name.  One of its founders was admiring breast cancer advocacy efforts, and said or thought, “How about us, too?”  In other words, how about such an advocacy/awareness effort for prostate cancer as well? Earlier this year, there was a [...]

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  • Oct 6 2014

    Do we need an “Awareness” Awareness Month? Or more giant testicles pushed cross-country?

    A TIME magazine opinion column today asks, “When Is ‘Awareness’ Awareness Month?“ The timing of the column is excellent, coming, as it does, in the season of prostate cancer and breast cancer awareness campaigns, Pinktober and Movember et al. Excerpts: ” ‘Awareness’ is a virus that preys on well-meaning minds. It tricks us into thinking [...]

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  • Oct 3 2014

    Breast Cancer Action says Stop the Distraction – others call for a different awareness focus

    As the Green Bay Packers were walloping the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football last night, the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch Day” campaign for breast cancer – which “is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older” – was on display at the stadium.  Banners similar to this [...]

    6 Comments
  • Oct 2 2014

    More conflicted, imbalanced prostate information from FOX News

    Conflicted and imbalanced because they let Dr. David Samadi, who runs a robotic surgery center in New York, be the unchallenged expert about “raising awareness for prostate cancer.”  In fact, they let the self-promotional Samadi get away with promoting the #SamadiChallenge – which, if you use that on Twitter, will eat up 16 of your [...]

    10 Comments
  • Oct 1 2014

    My article kicks off 5th Annual Health Literacy Month Blog Series

    For the third consecutive year, I’ve contributed to the Health Literacy Month Blog Series.  Today, my article, “Media Messages about Screenings and their Role in Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment,” kicks off the 5th annual month-long blog series. Below is a copy of what I wrote: ——————————— Disclaimer: the following is not an anti-screening message. It is, however, [...]

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