Health News Review
  • Sep 19 2013

    Too much uneven, imbalanced reporting of colon cancer screening studies

    There’s been a very effective long term marketing campaign on behalf of colonoscopy – which is not the only colon cancer screening option.  In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force says the options – fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy -  each have risks and benefits that vary – in its screening recommendation [...]

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  • Sep 9 2013

    When the word “cancer” corrupts thought and action. Labeling hurts. The words matter.

    In recent weeks, there have been new calls for new names for some cancer diagnoses – cancer labels – that change peoples’ lives forever. This week in the BMJ, Dr. Barry Kramer, director of the National Cancer Institute’s division of cancer prevention, and two colleagues wrote an editorial, “The word ‘cancer’:  how language can corrupt [...]

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  • Sep 6 2013

    Insurers doing what feds haven’t in refusing to pay for proton beam therapy

    The Los Angeles Times reports, “Blue Shield of California to curb coverage of pricey cancer therapy.” “As hospitals race to offer the latest in high-tech care, a major California health insurer is pushing back and refusing to pay for some of the more expensive and controversial cancer treatments. Blue Shield of California is taking on [...]

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  • Aug 21 2013

    A “silver bullet” cancer drug…for 5 mice, that is!

    In its September issue, Prevention magazine – in its “Need to Know: Medical Breakthroughs” section – has this headline: Silver Bullet Cancer Drug Set to Begin Clinical Trials The brief story that follows trumpets one study in five mice, and then reveals that human trials are expected to begin in early 2014.  Begin, not wrap [...]

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  • Jul 29 2013

    Cautions on cancer screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment

    Several noteworthy articles in journals today. In JAMA, a breast cancer specialist, a prostate cancer specialist, and an esophogeal cancer specialist co-authored a Viewpoint article, “Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer: An Opportunity for Improvement.” Excerpt: “In March 2012, the National Cancer Institute convened a meeting to evaluate the problem of “overdiagnosis,” which occurs when tumors [...]

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  • Jun 6 2013

    False claims about colonoscopy in response to NYT story

    The following is a guest post by Dr. Richard Hoffman, one of our expert editors on HealthNewsReview.org. ————————– The New York Times story, “The $2.7 Trillion Medical Bill: Colonoscopies Explain Why U.S. Leads the World in Health Expenditures,” about how the exorbitant costs associated with colonoscopy contribute to the high costs of American medicine has [...]

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  • Jun 1 2013

    “Here they go again” – 3 new proton beam facilities w/in 40 miles in DC-Baltimore

    “When it comes to reining in health care spending, it still seems like each hospital administrator thinks the guy at the other hospital should do it.”  That was the lead, as Jenny Gold of Kaiser Health News reports that two Washington,DC hospitals – three miles apart – are building expensive proton beam radiation centers for [...]

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  • May 27 2013

    Breast Cancer Action Webinar – Separating Hype from Hope: Breast Cancer Media Literacy

    Breast Cancer Action asked me to join them for a webinar Wed. May 29 and Thurs. May 30.  I’ll make a presentation and answer questions, as will Mandy Stahre, PhD, one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org.  Mandy is perfect for this role because she’s very smart – earning her PhD in epidemiology at the [...]

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  • May 21 2013

    IMRT for prostate cancer: newer, costlier radiation no better than old

    HealthDay reports on a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine: “The costly form of radiation therapy that has become the norm for prostate cancer in the United States may be no better than the older, cheaper variety — at least for some men, a new study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 1,000 U.S. [...]

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  • May 17 2013

    Here we go again: early news on early abstract release from ASCO

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, MS, one of our expert reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org, and a frequent guest blogger on this site. ———————- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will hold its annual meeting starting on May 31st in Chicago, Illinois.  While we have consistently cautioned against over reading the abstracts [...]

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