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Headlines give different views of important prostate study

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There’s a very important study published in the July 27 Journal of Clinical Oncology. But iif you read different news stories – or at least their headlines – you’d never know they were all about the same study.

Perhaps the most clear story – and headline – came from Reuters Health.

Headline: Many prostate cancers grow too slowly to kill.


A large 15-year study of men who had surgery for prostate cancer found only a small percentage died from cancer, adding to evidence that some men might be able to skip radical surgery to treat the often slow-growing tumors, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The study of more than 12,600 men with prostate cancer who had their prostates removed found only 12 percent died from cancer 15 years later, even though some showed signs of having an aggressive type of cancer.

Many more men — 38 percent — died from causes other than cancer.

The study “shows a remarkably low risk of dying of prostate cancer within 15 years for treated men, and supports the concept that men with slow-growing cancers may not need immediate treatment,” said Dr. Peter Scardino of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, whose study appears in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

U.S. News & World Report put this headline atop a HealthDay wire story:

Men Who Have Prostate Cancer Surgery Do Well

with a sub-head:

But study didn’t determine value of any treatment vs. watchful waiting

But the Scottish Daily Record had the oddest headline:

Operation can give prostate cancer sufferers another 15 years, says research

As I write this I have not been able to find this story in the AP, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal nor the Washington Post. Why not?

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