Health News Review
  • Oct 30 2012

    Were AP and AFP reporting on the same Lancet mammography paper?

    …possibility of overdiagnosis,” said Wilcox, 70, who had a mastectomy several years ago. “I just thought, ‘It’s good for you, so you do it.’ ” Knowing what she knows now about the problem of overtreatment, Wilcox says she still would have chosen to get screened. “But I would have wanted to know enough to make an informed choice for myself.” But the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) report…

  • Jan 15 2013

    First person health care stories not always narcissism – and can be a public service

    …bout first-person health care journalism: “When it’s done right, and in the right context, first person treatment stories can be gold. Laurence Stains did a great piece called ‘I Want My Prostate Back‘ about overtreatment of prostate cancer.” In Boston, WBUR’s Martha Bebinger has reported several pieces recently about her search for a quality colonoscopy.  Her latest,  “Ask About The Quality Of Your Colonoscopy…

  • Apr 25 2013

    Two noteworthy breast cancer stories: “The Feel-Good War” and guidelines didn’t change practice

    … breast cancer at 35? It turns out I did.” But a few paragraphs later, she updates readers: “Sixteen years later, my thinking has changed. As study after study revealed the limits of screening — and the dangers of overtreatment — a thought niggled at my consciousness. How much had my mammogram really mattered? Would the outcome have been the same had I bumped into the cancer on my own years later? It’s hard to argue with a good result…

  • Nov 4 2013

    The Economics & Politics of Drugs for Mild Hypertension

    …h.” I guess the editors think that the public health is served by not publicly debating the value of drugs for mild hypertension. Dr. Iona Heath’s excellent commentary, “Waste & Harm in the Treatment of Mild Hypertension: overtreatment, industry influence” published in May 2013 in the less influential and more contrarian JAMA Internal Medicine still did not ignite a widespread debate. In covering the story in this Health News Watchdog blog, G…

  • Jul 11 2014

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

    … I feel incapable of moderating my language. At last check, well more than 100 comments were left on the website in response to the article. I frequently write about the poor public dialogue about screening, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.  This example brings home the point about why that’s important. —————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter:…

  • Aug 3 2014

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

    …20;foggy” give the proponents of Low T therapy the benefit of the doubt?  Doesn’t “First, do no harm” warrant attention? Couldn’t a more direct discussion of disease-mongering and overtesting and overtreatment fit into here somewhere?  The story danced all around the edges but never jumped into the deep end. I’m not sure how much TIME “advanced the story.”  Not for anyone who’s been tracking n…

  • Sep 16 2014

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

    …, on this same day, the Wall Street Journal published a story, “Some Cancer Experts See ‘Overdiagnosis,’ Question Emphasis on Early Detection: Debate Among Doctors Looks at Whether Zealous Screening Leads to Overtreatment.” And that story quotes a respected urologist with a far different perspective than the one of the urologists in the Philadelphia Inquirer piece: “We have thrown the net very, very widely and elimin…

  • Jul 1 2014

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

    …itive lesions, screening identifies nonmelanoma skin cancers and thin melanomas; some of these lesions may have little potential for malignant spread and mortality. Surgical or other treatment of these lesions could result in overtreatment. That would start to approach informed consent. What’s your bet that this kind of stuff was discussed? ——————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter:…

  • Jan 6 2014

    NBC vastly exaggerates the potential benefits of lung cancer screening

    …y and surgery. …(There is a) high number of false-positive findings requiring further evaluation with imaging or clinical follow-up, which were predominantly done for benign disease. … Overdiagnosis and consequent overtreatment is a concern in lung cancer screening. The 1% to 2.7% prevalence of unrecognized lung cancer suggests a preclinical pool of lung cancer in high-risk populations. The clinical significance of these tumors is unc…

  • Sep 9 2013

    When the word “cancer” corrupts thought and action. Labeling hurts. The words matter.

    …ted States, 1973-2002,” he and a co-author concluded that the increase was not a jump in the true occurrence of thyroid cancer, but rather, finding earlier abnormalities that might turn out to be benign. Overdiagnosis.  Overtreatment.  Impact on treatment decisions.  Yes, the wording matters. ——————– Tweet Follow us on Twitter: a…

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