Health News Review
  • Aug 24 2014

    Questions about the ice bucket challenge

    A story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, “Ice bucket challenge? Here’s where  your money goes,” is worth a look. It doesn’t make any statement about what’s right or wrong or good or bad about the campaign.  It simply states facts, based on what the reporter found on Guidestar.org.  Excerpts: “The (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – ALS) association [...]

    3 Comments
  • Apr 4 2014

    “Check ‘em Tuesday” and CoppaFeel campaign strong on promotion, weak on evidence

    Newspapers that get involved in screening campaigns usually demonstrate that they don’t understand the limitations of screening. The latest example is The Sun of the UK, with its “Check ‘em Tuesday” campaign. The Sun has a thing for breasts.  It puts topless women in its regular Page 3 feature.  And, as you see, it cross-promotes [...]

    4 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
  • Jan 10 2014

    Mr. Balls, Senhor Testiculo, and a man named Cox

    In all the years I’ve written about promotions for various screening tests, I’ve seen some oddities. A porn star and the “Boob Bus Nurse Brigade” promoting mammography A fun-filled giant walk-through colon to promote colorectal cancer screening But those might pale in comparison with the various hairy testicle creatures roaming various regions of the earth. [...]

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  • Oct 15 2013

    Shuffle off to Buffalo for another questionable prostate screening promotion

    By now, any health care consumer with a pulse knows about the tradeoffs involved in prostate cancer screening.  It must have reached most corners of the US that mass prostate cancer screening is not recommended by: the US Preventive Services Task Force the American College of Physicians: “Doctors should inform men aged 50 to 69 [...]

    2 Comments
  • Oct 10 2013

    Awash in pink

    This is what breast cancer awareness looks like in many corners of our country this month. Pink Tow Trucks Take Breast Cancer Awareness On The Road Pink fire truck surprises cancer patients Paint Your Pinky Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Lighting Aerial Lift Bridge pink inspires breast cancer patients Even the beer is pink [...]

    4 Comments
  • Oct 8 2013

    When patients become pitchwomen: The duty of the medical journalist

    Another hospital claims a “first,” and another local newspaper bites on the bait, writing a story that is devoid of evidence but filled with one woman’s “success story.”  That’s just part of what bugged Theresa O’Brien when she read the story in her local paper.  Ms. O’Brien is a freelance technology and marketing analyst. She [...]

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  • Oct 4 2013

    Best practices for pink ribbon promotions

    Please note:  I know this is old news but I didn’t catch this a year ago.  It’s October again, so I think it’s legitimate to raise the issue again. I wonder if it’s made any difference.  Comments are welcome. October breast cancer awareness “pink ribbon” promotions have become so commonplace – and often so questionable [...]

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  • Feb 11 2013

    Oh No! No disclosure of Ohno drug company payment

    Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno is a marketable commodity. And drug company Teva Pharmaceuticals is riding those fast blades for all it can. And media love reporting on how Ohno is now the “national face” of the exercise-induced brochospasm campaign sponsored by Teva, which gives the condition the acronym label of EIB. Acronyms are hot in [...]

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  • Nov 28 2012

    Questions about Dr. Laura’s awareness of men’s health awareness

    Dr. Laura Berman, self-proclaimed “star” of “In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman,” was allowed to post this on the Chicago Sun-Times website regarding Movember and mustaches and prostate cancer: “Men greatly underestimate their risk of prostate cancer. Even though one in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, almost two-thirds [...]

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