Health News Review
  • 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, 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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  • May 14 2013

    When news like Angelina Jolie’s occurs, I learn from other breast cancer experts

    Women with breast cancer who are active on social media make a vital contribution to our public dialogue. So, when I read Angelina Jolie’s New York Times opinion piece, “My Medical Choice,” about her decision to have bilateral prophylactic mastectomy after breast cancer gene testing, I turned to some of the women I follow through [...]

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  • May 13 2013

    Barbara Brenner (1951-2013) “Social justice activist. Corporate ass-kicker. Civil rights advocate. Profound changer of lives.”

    That’s the way Barbara is described on the website of Breast Cancer Action, which she ran until 2010 when she stepped down because of her ALS diagnosis. She died last Friday. You can read more on their site.  But I chose this key excerpt: “One of the most successful – and controversial – of the [...]

  • May 3 2013

    “Radical change” – American Urological Association stops recommending routine PSA tests

    On Twitter, Liz Szabo of USA Today asks, “Is this the end of the PSA?” She was referring to new clinical guidelines released by the American Urological Association. She reported: “In a major break from the past, a leading medical group is advising men to think carefully before getting getting screened for prostate cancer. The [...]

  • Apr 25 2013

    Two noteworthy breast cancer stories: “The Feel-Good War” and guidelines didn’t change practice

    The New York Times Sunday magazine piece, “Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer,” is by Peggy Orenstein who begins: “I used to believe that a mammogram saved my life. I even wrote that in the pages of this magazine. It was 1996, and I had just turned 35 when my doctor sent me for an [...]

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  • Apr 10 2013

    Men’s Health feature: The $6 Million Dollar Gland

    Jim Thornton’s story is about prostate cancer screening.  The six million dollar figure refers to the cost of screening for and treating prostate cancer.  Excerpt: “At $1,000 or more per biopsy, the cost to U.S. health care for prostate biopsies alone is estimated to run into the billions each year. Whenever cancer is found, expenses [...]

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  • Mar 29 2013

    TIME’s “How To Cure Cancer” cover – worst of the year?

    That’s what journalist Seth Mnookin writes on Slate, stating, further, that it is “is wrong, grandiose, and cruel.” He writes, “I haven’t found a single cancer researcher who believes this means we’re on the verge of curing cancer.” And he reflects on some journalistic history in the same vein – from 1998: “…the New York [...]

  • Mar 19 2013

    Maybe we should stop anchor chit-chat after TV health news stories: new example in mammography story

    The authors of the paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Outcomes of Screening Mammography by Frequency, Breast Density, and Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy,” wrote: Controversy exists about the frequency women should undergo screening mammography and whether screening interval should vary according to risk factors beyond age. And concluded, as a result of the analysis they report: Women [...]

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  • Feb 8 2013

    Some local journalists trumpet breast cancer “breakthrough” that gets little attention elsewhere

    I live in the Twin Cities, so I couldn’t avoid hearing about the University of Minnesota research paper in Nature this week, “APOBEC3B is an enzymatic source of mutation in breast cancer.”  Had I lived anywhere else, I probably wouldn’t have heard anything about it. This laboratory finding was reported by the CBS TV station, [...]