Health News Review
  • 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 [...]

    3 Comments
  • 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 [...]

    33 Comments
  • 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 [...]

    4 Comments
  • Oct 22 2013

    When doctors don’t discuss harms of screening tests with patients

    Another important paper in the JAMA Internal Medicine “Less is More” series. “Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment: Evaluation of What Physicians Tell Their Patients About Screening Harms,” is by one of my risk communication gurus, Gerd Gigerenzer and colleague Odette Wegwarth. They surveyed 317 US men and women aged 50-69 years, a population with the highest exposure to [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 16 2013

    Atlanta TV station has newsmen promoting prostate cancer screening

    We interrupt breast cancer awareness month messages to bring you some prostate cancer awareness news. After we wrote about problems with a Buffalo prostate cancer screening promotion, reader Ken Leebow of Atlanta wrote to me about what the NBC station in Atlanta has been doing. What is particularly problematic in this campaign is that journalists [...]

    4 Comments
  • 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 9 2013

    Beware the polyp police

    Alan Cassels of British Columbia writes, “The polyp police are coming.” He explores the introduction of a new Provincial Colon Screening Program in British Columbia. And he raises many questions in a very thoughtful analysis: “Does a polyp automatically mean a death sentence? Not at all—only about 2.5 polyps in a thousand will progress to [...]

    4 Comments
  • Sep 19 2013

    “Not-so-fine line between empowerment and fear, between awareness and exploitation” on testicular cancer campaigns

    Veteran public health reporter André Picard of The Globe and Mail writes, “Sack the hysteria: Men’s shorts aren’t filled with cancer time bombs.“  He also posts this image from one campaign. Story excerpt: “Not only are the big organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society starting to take interest in men’s gonads, a bunch of [...]

    No Comments
  • Sep 19 2013

    Too much uneven, imbalanced reporting of colon cancer screening studies

    There’s been a very effective long term marketing campaign on behalf of colonoscopy – which is not the only colon cancer screening option.  In fact, the US Preventive Services Task Force says the options – fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy -  each have risks and benefits that vary – in its screening recommendation [...]

    2 Comments