Minnesota and Arizona journalists are jumping all over a Mayo Clinic announcement that they’ll begin offering a form of proton beam radiation therapy in Rochester and Scottsdale several years from now.
But only one news organization that we’ve seen so far – the St. Paul Pioneer Press – injected any caution into their coverage. Reporter Chris Snowbeck, operating under the same time pressures as everyone else, at least included this:
But proton beam therapy has been controversial. Some have questioned whether the evidence in support of the treatment approach is sufficient, especially when considering its cost.
“All too often financial considerations of profit primarily determine whether a technology will be adopted,” wrote doctors this fall in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. “In an era in which the need to control costs has become clear, this situation is undesirable.”
The Star Tribune didn’t include anything like that in their blog or in their online posting of an AP story, which also didn’t have anything like that. Neither did the Mayo hometown papers – the Rochester Post-Bulletin nor the Arizona Republic – not at this moment, at least.
There are lots of questions about proton beam therapy. You can see this search page from my blog to see some of them discussed.
Kudos to Snowbeck and the Pioneer Press for finding some time and space to at least hint that there may be more to the story.