The CBS Early Show let actress-singer Olivia Newton-John appear on their program this week to promote a commercial product without a balanced review of the evidence.
In fact, the anchor led in to the relevant part of the interview by prompting the celebrity, âTell us about your crusade.â?
(Newton-John:) âIâd like to introduce the Liv Aid, which is a Breast Self Examination kit to encourage women to do regular breast self-examination, because early detection is key.â?
Newton-John went on to remind viewers that she found a lump during breast self-exam 16 years ago. She said she was working with the Curves chain to try to get these LivAid kits to one million women.
“Data from two large trials do not suggest a beneficial effect of screening by breast self-examination but do suggest increased harm in terms of increased numbers of benign lesions identified and an increased number of biopsies performed. At present, screening by breast self-examination or physical examination cannot be recommended.”
There was never a mention of this in the CBS program – only free airtime for a “crusade” – and a commercial one at that.
Shame on CBS for providing one-sided, incomplete information to its viewers.