Health News Review
  • Oct 6 2014

    Colons want a piece of the action of Pinktober, too

    About 20 years ago, I learned how the Us Too prostate cancer advocacy group got its name.  One of its founders was admiring breast cancer advocacy efforts, and said or thought, “How about us, too?”  In other words, how about such an advocacy/awareness effort for prostate cancer as well? Earlier this year, there was a [...]

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  • Oct 6 2014

    Do we need an “Awareness” Awareness Month? Or more giant testicles pushed cross-country?

    A TIME magazine opinion column today asks, “When Is ‘Awareness’ Awareness Month?“ The timing of the column is excellent, coming, as it does, in the season of prostate cancer and breast cancer awareness campaigns, Pinktober and Movember et al. Excerpts: ” ‘Awareness’ is a virus that preys on well-meaning minds. It tricks us into thinking [...]

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  • Oct 3 2014

    Breast Cancer Action says Stop the Distraction – others call for a different awareness focus

    As the Green Bay Packers were walloping the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football last night, the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch Day” campaign for breast cancer – which “is focused on the importance of annual screenings, especially for women who are 40 and older” – was on display at the stadium.  Banners similar to this [...]

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  • Oct 2 2014

    More conflicted, imbalanced prostate information from FOX News

    Conflicted and imbalanced because they let Dr. David Samadi, who runs a robotic surgery center in New York, be the unchallenged expert about “raising awareness for prostate cancer.”  In fact, they let the self-promotional Samadi get away with promoting the #SamadiChallenge – which, if you use that on Twitter, will eat up 16 of your [...]

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  • Oct 1 2014

    My article kicks off 5th Annual Health Literacy Month Blog Series

    For the third consecutive year, I’ve contributed to the Health Literacy Month Blog Series.  Today, my article, “Media Messages about Screenings and their Role in Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment,” kicks off the 5th annual month-long blog series. Below is a copy of what I wrote: ——————————— Disclaimer: the following is not an anti-screening message. It is, however, [...]

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  • 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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