Important screening stories this week – breast, colon, prostate cancers

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Journalist Christie Aschwanden’s mammography story in the Los Angeles Times is an example of clear, explanatory journalism.

Two pieces by Reuters Health were noteworthy – yet drew surprisingly little news coverage:

• One was on an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report reminding women that they have several options for colon cancer screening. Too many stories – here’s an example – focus only on colonoscopy or only on virtual colononscopy.

• Another was on a prostate cancer study that showed, in the words of the lead researcher, “the older you get, the likelihood of benefiting from intervention becomes increasingly slim.” The screening angle was explained in the story: “The advent of prostate cancer screening with PSA (prostate-specific antigen) testing has meant that a large number of men are now diagnosed with early-stage cancer that’s unlikely to ever become life-threatening.”

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