Another ill-advised use of "cure"

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When are journalists and scientists going to learn? “Cure” just isn’t an acceptable term to use in describing test tube research, unless you’re talking about a new way to treat ham.

An Associated Press story Friday began: “Scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School are part of a team that has discovered a possible cause of prostate cancer, a finding they say could result in better forms of treatment or possibly a cure.”

Maybe this is an important finding. Maybe years from now it will lead to a treatment. But cure? It’s a bit premature to talk about possible cures when you haven’t even treated one person based on the new finding.

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November 3, 2005 at 3:55 pm

A cure for ham cancer? Finally!