Health News Review
  • Sep 23 2014

    Proton beam: should a news organization “partner” with providers to promote in the face of intense debate?

    On the same day that the Mayo Clinic co-hosted a Twitter chat about “The Role of Proton Beam Therapy in Cancer Care”….. ……Kaiser Health News published a story, “Insurers Hesitant To Cover Many Proton Beam Therapy Treatments.” Included in that story was the news that: “some insurers and disease experts say that, until there’s better [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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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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  • Jul 11 2014

    Creative YouTube videos by MDs can educate & entertain

    I’ve written about ZDoggMD.com videos before. If you’re hooked on House of Cards, you may appreciate his Frank Underwood impersonation in this video in which he persuades an anti-vaccine mother to do the right thing.   Aaron Carroll tries to educate viewers about “Number Needed to Treat: Treatments Don’t Work Like You Think They Work” [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Jan 23 2014

    A patient advocate’s powerful piece on Lisa Bonchek Adams and the Kellers’ criticism – the DCIS Sea of Uncertainty

    I’ve been slow to comment on the firestorm of criticism that arose when Emma Keller of The Guardian questioned the Twitter messages by Lisa Bonchek Adams, a young woman with stage IV breast cancer. I haven’t felt the need to comment since so many people have done such a thorough job of writing about this [...]

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  • Nov 22 2013

    Do social networks spread or drown health & science news?

    A Scientific American blog posts a review of a book, Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health: Sharing Disparities.  It’s written by my friend and former faculty colleague, Brian Southwell.  We worked together in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.  He’s now program director for Science in [...]

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  • May 27 2013

    Breast Cancer Action Webinar – Separating Hype from Hope: Breast Cancer Media Literacy

    Breast Cancer Action asked me to join them for a webinar Wed. May 29 and Thurs. May 30.  I’ll make a presentation and answer questions, as will Mandy Stahre, PhD, one of our story reviewers on HealthNewsReview.org.  Mandy is perfect for this role because she’s very smart – earning her PhD in epidemiology at the [...]

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  • May 21 2013

    Warnings about drug company-funded mental health websites

    A paper by New Zealand researchers published in the journal, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (subscription required for full text access*), summarizes a literature review and meta-analysis of drug company–funded mental health websites. The analysis compared mental websites funded by drug companies with those not funded by pharma.  It concludes: Practitioners are encouraged to inform patients about [...]

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  • May 14 2013

    When news like Angelina Jolie’s occurs, I learn from other breast cancer experts

    Women with breast cancer who are active on social media make a vital contribution to our public dialogue. So, when I read Angelina Jolie’s New York Times opinion piece, “My Medical Choice,” about her decision to have bilateral prophylactic mastectomy after breast cancer gene testing, I turned to some of the women I follow through [...]

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