Health News Review
  • Feb 24 2015

    Stop blaming “demanding patients” for driving up health care costs

    A recent JAMA Oncology paper by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, “Patient Demands and Requests for Cancer Tests and Treatments,” is worth a look. The authors note that: “Surveyed physicians tend to place responsibility for high medical costs more on “demanding patients” than themselves. However, there are few data about the [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 17 2015

    Sensational language – scary & fawning – in USNWR story on Cologuard colon cancer test

    Earlier this month, US News & World Report published a story, “Meet Cologuard: The Colon Cancer Test You Can Take At Home.” It profiles a man who had what is described as a “gruesome” experience from a colonoscopy 35 years ago – so bad “that he vowed never to have another screening test for colorectal [...]

    1 Comment
  • Feb 5 2015

    More Bow Tie, Less Glitz Please: Breast Cancer Vaccine Promises Don’t Serve Readers/Viewers

    The following is a guest blog post from one of our new contributors, Alan Cassels, who is an author, journalist, and drug policy researcher with an interest in how clinical research and experience on pharmaceuticals gets translated for policy-makers, prescribers and consumers. ——————— Sometimes a news story feels like a scientific conference.  Half the time you’re [...]

    2 Comments
  • Feb 4 2015

    Two noteworthy breast cancer articles: women who turn down mammography…and questions about precision medicine

    Women’s magazines are often not the place to go for hard-hitting, evidence-based health care stories.  That’s not just my opinion.  That’s what I’ve heard through the years from many women who try to write such pieces for women’s magazines. But here’s an exception to that pattern:  Laura Beil’s piece in O, The Oprah Magazine, entitled, [...]

    2 Comments
  • Jan 28 2015

    Can we learn anything from Japanese study of cancer news reporting?

    A new analysis, “How do medical journalists treat cancer-related issues?” was published in the journal ecancermedicalscience It’s by Japanese researchers looking at Japanese news coverage.  An excerpt of their findings: “This study provides important information about journalists who publish articles on cancer. First, the selection of topics is clearly biased; for example, aggressive treatments and [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 14 2015

    Important and rare: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story

    On ScienceInsider for the American Association for the Advance of Science, science writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel writes, “Bad luck and cancer: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story.” She looks back at the brouhaha caused by a paper published in Science on January 2, by a news release from Johns Hopkins University (home of the paper’s [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 5 2015

    Alan Cassels guest blog post: PSA test – good myths die hard

    Alan Cassels, who is a pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria, British Columbia,  a journalist, and author of the books  “Seeking Sickness” and “The ABCs of Disease Mongering”,  sent in this unsolicited guest blog post.  Soon, we hope to solicit more pieces from Cassels. Matthew Tully wrote on the Indy Star website on December 16th, [...]

    5 Comments
  • Dec 22 2014

    Monday health news roundup: mostly gems, one dud

    I realize that I wrote about the following things on my Monday morning email digest, but if you don’t subscribe to that email, you didn’t see what we wrote.  (One solution:  sign up to subscribe to the emails.  It’s free.) Some things we saw that we really liked: Richard Smith’s feature in The BMJ,  “Are [...]

    2 Comments
  • Nov 21 2014

    More NBC TODAY Show men have more body parts probed during TV sweeps month

    Last November, it was Matt Lauer and Al Roker having their prostates probed on live TV via digital rectal exam. This November TV sweeps period – today to be precise – Willie Geist and Carson Daly had their testicles probed live on the air. The common denominator:  the prober was telegenic, media magnet Dr. David [...]

    3 Comments
  • Nov 20 2014

    Hockey fans treated to more than slap shot; how about prostate exam?

    Milwaukee media loved this Movember promotion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: Milwaukee Admirals vice president of sales and marketing Mike Wojciechowski will undergo a prostate examination at Saturday night’s match against the Rockford Ice Hogs to raise awareness of men’s health issues…. The team is holding promotions during November to help raise money for the [...]

    No Comments