Health News Review
  • Sep 22 2014

    Duluth newspaper tackles commercial screening test questions

    John Lundy of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Wellness screening offers draw complaints.”  The story was apparently motivated by one Duluth resident’s complaint about a piece of direct mail she received from the LifeLine Screening company – the kind of mail many Americans get in the company’s carpet-bombing direct mail campaigns.  The story begins: “Sue [...]

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  • Sep 16 2014

    Evidence/balance lacking in Philly story on “Don’t Fear The Finger” campaign

    The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story, “Prostate cancer activists launch ‘the finger’ campaign to stem decline in testing.“  It begins: Kristine Warner wanted an eye-catching way to encourage men to talk to their doctors about the complicated, controversial subject of prostate cancer screening. Don’t Fear The Finger campaign was born. Go ahead and snicker. It [...]

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  • Aug 22 2014

    Dr. Peter Bach on “Avoiding the Breast Cancer ‘Warrior’ Trap”

    I clearly remember struggling with if/what I should write about Amy Robach of ABC News and her on-air and online statements about her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment – and what it might mean for other women. I finally decided, and published “There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story,” becoming one [...]

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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 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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  • Jul 11 2014

    One physician’s story: An Egregious Example of Ordering Unnecessary Tests

    Harriet Hall writes on the Science-Based Medicine website about a 21-year old man seeing a board-certified family physician for a routine physical.  Excerpt: This young man is healthy, has no complaints, has no past history of any significant health problems and no family history of any disease. The patient just asked for a routine physical [...]

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  • Jul 9 2014

    What women need to know about USNWR’s “16 Health Screenings All Women Need”

    When I see a headline such as “16 Health Screenings All Women Need,” I steel myself for what comes next. “All women need“? What came next in the US News & World Report column was a list of recommendations that included imbalance, incompleteness, and more controversy than the column suggests. For example: On clinical breast [...]

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  • Jul 1 2014

    Watch World Cup, get free skin CA screening – more hospital marketing

    It’s a new twist on “having skin in the game.” During today’s USA World Cup match, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City tweeted: Ok to cheer for the red, white and blue. But with these “free skin cancer screenings,” I wonder if people were told that: The US Preventive Services Task Force concludes “that [...]

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  • Jul 1 2014

    Conflict of interest: ABC allows Ob-Gyn/”journalist” to report her opinion on pelvic exam recommendations

    From MedPageToday: Average-risk, asymptomatic women do not benefit from pelvic exams as part of routine care and face potential harms from false-positive results, according to a new clinical guideline. When screening for cervical cancer, clinicians should limit the physical examination to visual inspection of the cervix and use of cervical swabs for cancer or human [...]

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  • Jun 27 2014

    A couple of docs react strongly to NYT “Well” blog post on vitamin D screening

    The US Preventive Services Task Force this week released new draft guidelines on screening for Vitamin D deficiency. The draft “concludes that current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency.”  Other bullet points: There is no consensus definition of vitamin D deficiency the accuracy of [...]

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