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

    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 [...]

    1 Comment
  • 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 [...]

    5 Comments
  • 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
  • Feb 5 2014

    Dueling diseases…competing cancer causes…my cancer is worse than your cancer

    An article on Salon, ” ‘I wish I had breast cancer’: The latest terrible cancer campaign,” criticizes the Pancreatic Cancer Action organization for its latest “awareness” campaign.   In it, a man says “I wish I had testicular cancer” and a woman says “I wish I had breast cancer.” The author of the Salon piece [...]

    3 Comments
  • Feb 5 2014

    Cancer fundraiser toys with truth in using robotic surgery to get donations

    Canadians may have thought they had been transported south of the border, where robotic surgery is widely and wildly promoted all the time. But this week, for World Cancer Day, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation posted this fundraising plea: The website explains: “Give 6 patients the best surgery while changing cancer care internationally with your [...]

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  • Jan 23 2014

    A patient advocate’s powerful piece on Lisa Bonchek Adams and the Kellers’ criticism – the DCIS Sea of Uncertainty

    I’ve been slow to comment on the firestorm of criticism that arose when Emma Keller of The Guardian questioned the Twitter messages by Lisa Bonchek Adams, a young woman with stage IV breast cancer. I haven’t felt the need to comment since so many people have done such a thorough job of writing about this [...]

    5 Comments
  • Dec 20 2013

    Did people learn from Angelina Jolie breast cancer news coverage?

    No, according to a study published in the journal Genetics in Medicine this week. And the researchers had several direct messages for journalists, such as: Celebrities can successfully raise awareness about a health issue, but it is a greater challenge for health journalists to ensure accurate understanding. As our understanding of the genetic contribution to [...]

    3 Comments
  • Dec 13 2013

    Doing an autopsy on a feel-good local TV health news story…and the harms therein

    On the Skeptic Ink website, William London, EdD, MPH, a public health professor at California State University, Los Angeles, writes: “On July 12, 2013, I came upon a video recording and transcript of a typical feel-good local news feature: Local doctor battles cancer through natural healing. It appeared on KGET, the NBC affiliate station in [...]

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