Health News Review
  • Aug 22 2014

    Dr. Peter Bach on “Avoiding the Breast Cancer ‘Warrior’ Trap”

    I clearly remember struggling with if/what I should write about Amy Robach of ABC News and her on-air and online statements about her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment – and what it might mean for other women. I finally decided, and published “There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story,” becoming one [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Here’s how the new FDA-approved colon cancer test could have been covered

    Los Angeles Times business/consumer columnist David Lazarus writes, “A good alternative to having a colonoscopy?  Maybe not.” Excerpt: A Wisconsin company called Exact Sciences has launched a marketing campaign for its new product, Cologuard, which it hails as “the breakthrough test for colon cancer screening that’s as easy as going to the bathroom.” Although stool [...]

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  • Aug 20 2014

    Smart journalism scrutinizes cancer screening issues

    Julia Belluz, on Vox.com, wrote, “Older patients are getting screened way too often for cancer.“  She reported on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded: “A substantial proportion of the US population with limited life expectancy received prostate, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening that is unlikely to provide [...]

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  • Aug 6 2014

    Aspirin and cancer story more complicated than many are reporting

    Is it even worth it to draw attention to the UK Daily Mail’s headline this week calling aspirin a miracle pill? Yes, clearly it is, because many, many other stories around the globe hyped the story – although most of them short of the degree to which the Daily Mail did. Headlines were shouting advice [...]

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  • Jun 25 2014

    Which journalists reported an extra dimension on the 3-D mammography story?

    Faithful to the latest journal article, many news organizations dutifully reported what they were told by authors of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography.“  The list of stories that resorted to sensational language – breakthrough, game-changer, best way of detection, [...]

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  • 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

    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

    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 [...]

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  • Apr 3 2014

    Nuanced balance is not easily communicated on latest mammography study

    “A Systematic Assessment of Benefits and Risks to Guide Breast Cancer Screening Decisions” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week. It reached a conclusion that you might think few could disagree with – although on this topic one should never underestimate the potential for disagreement.  The authors wrote: “Mammography screening [...]

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  • Mar 6 2014

    Why the Scandinavian prostate cancer study doesn’t translate to the U.S.

    Lots of news coverage about a Scandinavian prostate cancer study.  Here’s a guest post on the study from Richard M. Hoffman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Staff Physician in the New Mexico VA Health Care System.  He has done story reviews and written blog posts [...]

    5 Comments