Health News Review
  • Jan 5 2014

    Journalists: don’t use the term “massive” heart attack if you don’t know what you’re talking about

    A popular ex-Minneapolis mayor, 58-year old R.T. Rybak, had just left office last week. Then, yesterday, a local hospital announced: “Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak came to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Emergency Department about 1 p.m. today by ambulance complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains after cross-country skiing 7.7 miles in Theodore Wirth [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Dec 18 2013

    Celebrities and health: good, bad, and ugly – in the BMJ

    Katie Couric, Kylie Minogue, Michael J. Fox, Christina Applegate, Suzanne Somers, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow. Just a few of the celebrities who have publicly taken advocacy stances on behalf of certain health care ideas. “Following celebrities’ medical advice: meta-narrative analysis,” is a paper in the BMJ. It concludes: “The influence of celebrity status is a [...]

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  • Dec 5 2013

    Over-reacting to French president’s BPH: a pissing match over a benign condition?

    The Telegraph reports: “President François Hollande of France admitted on Wednesday that he had surgery in 2011 on a swollen prostate just before he ran for office, igniting fresh debate over how honest French leaders are about their health problems.” Really? In my mind, what has been re-ignited is miscommunication about prostate health issues. I [...]

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  • Nov 23 2013

    My interview on CBC Radio regarding network TV prostate/breast CA screenings

    The CBC Radio program, “White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman,” asked me to join them this week to discuss some issues surrounding journalists promoting cancer screening tests on network television. Out of a 30 minute program, the segment with my interview appears between 10:22 and 20:30.  Note:  The audio begins automatically.  I don’t [...]

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  • Nov 12 2013

    There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story

    First, I sincerely wish ABC’s Amy Robach good health and good outcomes after she chose to have a mammogram on the air and, after it showed that she had cancer, further chose to have bilateral mastectomy surgery. These are difficult choices and difficult times for her. But almost every single one of the hundreds of [...]

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  • Nov 10 2013

    NBC races the clock in a race to the bottom with anchormen & prostate cancer screening promotion

    It was not the peacock’s finest hour. Or even their finest 34 seconds. Last week, NBC Today show anchors Matt Lauer and Al Roker had digital rectal exams (out of view, behind closed doors) on live TV.  Lauer and the network announced that “The live event is part of No-Shave November, TODAY’s initiative to raise [...]

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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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  • Apr 30 2013

    The allure of “Michelle Obama Arms” – Lifting the hype bar on upper arm lift surgery

    Fact:  the US spends a far greater percentage of the Gross Domestic Product on health care than any other country on earth. Suggestion:  trends like the following, and news stories about these trends, may be a big reason why. Caution: You need to sit through a 15-second commercial before seeing the news video, which, itself [...]

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  • Dec 31 2012

    Troublesome ethical issues in TV news personality targeting high school sports for cancer fundraising

    The Star Tribune is going to take a lot of criticism for its story about a local TV news personality’s cancer foundation “targeting high school sporting events,” but I think this is important and legitimate cross-town journalism about journalism ethics. The story involves longtime Minneapolis TV personality Randy Shaver who has danced back and forth [...]

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