Health News Review
  • Aug 23 2014

    Robotic surgery company objects to tough journalism; objections & responses posted

    Men’s Health magazine deserves credit not only for its tough story, “What’s Wrong with Robotic Surgery?” by an excellent journalist, Laura Beil, earlier this year.  But when Intuitive Surgical, manufacturer of the DaVinci robotic surgical system, objected to the piece, Men’s Health posted a point-by-point response to the objections. A double dose of good journalism, [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Predatory journal: “good way to make an income & defraud scientific community”

    Applause for Tom Spears of The Ottawa Citizen for his piece, “Respected medical journal turns to dark side.” He begins: “A respected Canadian medical journal that was sold to offshore owners last year is now printing scientific junk for hire, but still trading on its original good name. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology was published in Oakville, Ont., [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Here’s how the new FDA-approved colon cancer test could have been covered

    Los Angeles Times business/consumer columnist David Lazarus writes, “A good alternative to having a colonoscopy?  Maybe not.” Excerpt: A Wisconsin company called Exact Sciences has launched a marketing campaign for its new product, Cologuard, which it hails as “the breakthrough test for colon cancer screening that’s as easy as going to the bathroom.” Although stool [...]

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  • Aug 21 2014

    Misleading PBS story: Study shows prostate cancer risk rises in male cyclists over 50

    One of our readers tipped me off to the flaws in this recent story posted by PBS Newshour. And if you read the reader comments left online in response to the story, you’ll see that she wasn’t the only one who was troubled.   For such a short story, there’s a lot wrong here. The [...]

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  • Aug 20 2014

    Smart journalism scrutinizes cancer screening issues

    Julia Belluz, on Vox.com, wrote, “Older patients are getting screened way too often for cancer.“  She reported on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that concluded: “A substantial proportion of the US population with limited life expectancy received prostate, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening that is unlikely to provide [...]

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  • Aug 19 2014

    Hair loss treatment data in 3 people gets widespread (and often weak) news coverage

    Published results in just 3 people drew widespread international news attention. NBC News, which has a history of baldness treatment hype, did it again, putting a graphic behind anchor Brian Williams that played question mark journalism, asking, “Cure for Baldness?”  Short answer:  No.  Not yet.  Not after good results in 3 people.  But NBC had [...]

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  • Aug 7 2014

    Wording on “Low vitamin D boosts Alzheimer’s/dementia risk” is wrong

    The BBC headlined it, “Low vitamin D boosts dementia risk.”  And countless blogs and Twitter messages parroted that same line.  Erroneously. Because, as the BBC story itself went on to explain: “We need to be cautious at this early stage and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia,” (the [...]

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  • Aug 6 2014

    Aspirin and cancer story more complicated than many are reporting

    Is it even worth it to draw attention to the UK Daily Mail’s headline this week calling aspirin a miracle pill? Yes, clearly it is, because many, many other stories around the globe hyped the story – although most of them short of the degree to which the Daily Mail did. Headlines were shouting advice [...]

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  • Aug 4 2014

    Ebola news notes, including ethical questions for CNN

    Just a few observations about the journalism involved in the Ebola news coverage. Faye Flam on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker wrote, “Ebola outbreak reaction shows why science writers are necessary.” She points to Maryn McKenna’s Superbug blog, in which Maryn called the “Ebola media scrum…disgraceful.”  But she also posts a long list of articles [...]

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  • Aug 3 2014

    Does “Manopause” really warrant one of TIME’s 52 covers this year?

    TIME magazine’s cover boy this week is a shirtless middle-aged man under the headline,”Manopause?! – Aging, insecurity and the $2 billion testosterone industry.” Overall, it was an interesting story, well told.  It discussed the hype, the amount of money some people are making off of Low T “therapies,”  the uncertainties, the potential hazards, and the [...]

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