Health News Review
  • Jun 13 2014

    Sam’s Club serves up a Father’s Day prostate special. Such a deal!

    A physician wrote to me, concerned that she’s seen no news coverage questioning why Sam’s Club stores across the country are offering free PSA screenings for men 40 and over to “celebrate men’s health month.”  The events are apparently scheduled for this coming weekend, on June 14. But not everyone is impressed by the promotion.  [...]

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  • Jun 12 2014

    “Cancer pill fights disease & gives lifelong protection” – for mice

    It took The Daily Telegraph of the UK nearly 200 words and 8 sentences to get around to explaining that the headline above pertained to a study conducted in mice. And when the story did get around to it, here’s how it was reported: “Although the study was conducted in mice, researchers are confident it [...]

    3 Comments
  • Jun 12 2014

    ABC radio Australia: What ails health reporting

    After appearing recently on the popular “On the Media” program on US National Public Radio, I’m flattered to appear on Australia’s ABC radio national program, “Media Report,” with veteran journalist Richard Aedy.  Smart host for another smart media analysis radio program.   You can listen to it here.             ————————- [...]

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  • Jun 12 2014

    Proton beam therapy – radiation oncology group weighs in on the evidence (and lack thereof)

    Usually when I make suggestions to journalists about things to cover, I urge them to report on questions of evidence for two of the fastest growing and most expensive medical technologies:  proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery. Recently, the American Society for Radiation Oncology issued a new model policy for proton beam therapy. In [...]

    3 Comments
  • Jun 11 2014

    BMJ news release on red meat & breast cancer may have misled reporters again

    I shuddered as soon as I read the BMJ news release headline, which read: “Estimated risk of breast cancer increases as red meat intake increases.“  I shuddered because I predicted to myself that many headlines, if not complete news stories, would report this as proof of cause and effect.  Or, at the very least, caveats [...]

    7 Comments
  • Jun 11 2014

    GE’s “Let’s Talk Mammo” blames media, downplays false positives

    Viewing false positives and ensuing anxiety as a potential harm of mammography is often scoffed at by those who promote mammography at all costs.  With a different view on that topic, here is a guest post by Mary Guiden, a communications manager and writer at the University of Washington and a former journalist who blogs [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jun 10 2014

    How predictive and productive is animal research?

    That’s a question BMJ editor in chief Fiona Godlee raises in a piece all health care and science journalists should ponder before penning their next rodent research story. And it should help news consumers put animated animal research claims into context as well. She discusses “the poor quality of the animal research on which much [...]

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  • Jun 10 2014

    Slow down on making claims for semen test for prostate cancer

    Recently, all sorts of sensational headlines popped up about: Semen test may improve prostate cancer detection Semen test for prostate cancer helps diagnose early warning signs Prostate cancer accurately identified with semen test Prostate cancer diagnosis may be more accurate with semen test Semen test is latest diagnostic prostate cancer tool and may be best [...]

    2 Comments
  • Jun 5 2014

    Words of caution about “simple tests could save lives and money” story

    A reader in California asked that we review and comment on a story by Healthline seen on Yahoo Health news: “Simple Tests for Heart Attack Risk Could Save Lives and Money.” Whenever you hear or see the phrase “simple tests,” you should head for the hills because there’s nothing simple or uncomplicated about most health [...]

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  • Jun 4 2014

    ABC Nightline’s simplistic, book-promoting approach to saturated fat

    Anchorman Dan Harris reads his lines: Is it possible that everything we have long held as dietary gospel is backwards? Tonight you will meet a mom/investigative reporter who says all of those high-fat foods we have been told to avoid are actually good for us. Not only that, she says if you eat things like [...]

    7 Comments