Search Results for "screening"
These prostate cancer screening campaigns are giving men the finger
Fifty years ago, in a golden moment of television comedy shows, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In program regularly featured “The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate” award. Wikipedia says it “recognized actual dubious achievements by public individuals or institutions.” Do a Google search. You’ll quickly see how popular this award became. Yes, I’m dating myself by going […]
How overdiagnosis and other harms can undermine the benefits of screening: A new primer in our toolkit
September marks National Prostate Health Month, when hospitals and urology practices push free prostate cancer screening. It’s also when we at HealthNewsReview.org publish our annual analysis of why these promotions — and their “screening saves lives” message — are bad for men. To help readers understand the issue more clearly, we’ve published an expanded toolkit […]2
Why one woman’s emotional plea for early colon cancer screening may harm instead of help
A 32-year-old cancer patient has taken to Facebook to urge people to “get screened early for colon cancer” — and a number of news outlets are spreading her impassioned message without giving it sufficient scrutiny. The news coverage is a classic case of muddling the distinction between diagnosis and screening, and it could expose readers […]
Screening for atrial fibrillation with a wearable patch: Seek and ye shall find … and then what?
A study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raises important questions about the implications of widespread screening for atrial fibrillation — our most common abnormal heart rhythm (or, “arrhythmia”). Atrial fibrillation (“AF” or “AFib” for short) is an irregular beating of the heart’s two upper chambers, and is considered a […]7
Many journalists fail to question new Cancer Society colorectal cancer screening guidelines
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has updated its colorectal cancer screening guidelines, lowering the recommended age to start screening from 50 to 45. Many national outlets picked up the potentially practice-changing news with these headlines: CNN: Colon and rectal cancer screenings should start at 45, new guidelines say NBC: Colon cancer screening should start at […]2
ASCO pumps up a one-sided view of lung cancer screening: Here’s what most of the coverage missed
Among the thousands of research abstracts released to the public on Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), just six were selected to be highlighted in a news conference with journalists. Of those six, one was an analysis showing only about 2% of heavy smokers are screened for lung cancer despite a recommendation […]1
A win for readers: coverage of new prostate cancer screening guidelines focuses on shared decision making
When the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a statement recommending against prostate cancer screening in 2012, its guidance was met with often vituperative attacks from professional organizations and advocacy groups. The muted response to new recommendations released this past Tuesday supporting personalized decision making for men 55 to 69 must have come as […]3
Despite screaming headlines, England’s breast cancer screening computer glitch didn’t kill anyone
A bureaucratic snafu in England has generated international headlines bemoaning the deaths of hundreds of women. Some coverage, such as this CNN story picked up by KSAT in San Antonio, brought visions of a mass casualty event on the scale of a terrorist attack or airline crash: Dozens of other news outlets chimed in with similarly […]
Marketing misfire on ‘spa-like’ 3D mammograms: Comfort appeal distracts from real concerns on screening, experts say
There’s a reason mammograms are the perfect fodder for female comedians. There is little merriment in having your breast manipulated onto a table and then squeezed between square metal plates. But it does make for a good joke. That 30-second window of discomfort is also a great marketing opportunity. Over the past few months we’ve […]3
Erin Andrews’ misdirected cervical cancer screening promo overlooks harms of frequent testing
You may have seen celebrity Erin Andrews’ crusade to promote cervical cancer screening, which draws from a well-worn corporate playbook of hiring celebrities to sell medical interventions. But this time the sponsor, medical technology company Hologic, erred in picking a well-off white television personality to offer advice on a disease that disproportionately kills low-income, minority, […]4
Prostate cancer screening: massive study gets minimal coverage. Why?
The largest-ever randomized trial of using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in asymptomatic men over the age of 50 has found — after about 10 years of follow-up — no significant difference in prostate cancer deaths among men who were screened with a single (“one-off”) PSA test, and those who weren’t screened. The findings come […]1
In the real world, harms of lung cancer screening prove greater than expected
While hospitals and advocacy groups eagerly promote lung cancer screening to the public, some researchers are shining a spotlight on data that shows the harms of lung cancer screening occur more often than anticipated. A whopping 56 percent of the time, current and former heavy smokers who were screened with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans […]3
A prostate ‘Pep Talk’ is the wrong way to get men thinking about cancer screening
With September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in full swing, an industry-affiliated partnership has turned to high-profile former NFL coaches to deliver its prostate cancer screening message. It’s a clever choice: professional coaches are good at getting men to do all kinds of things they might not otherwise want to do, whether it’s extra wind sprints […]
Imbalanced ‘Saved by the Scan’ campaign neglects big concerns over lung cancer screening
Everyone who has ever smoked cigarettes should take this quiz because “Lung cancer screening could save your life,” according to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) new “Saved by the Scan” campaign. But after taking that quiz, almost all current or former smokers (roughly 9 out of 10) will learn that they’re not good candidates for […]1
5-Star Friday: More screening, more vitamins and more advocacy can only be good, right?
If there’s a common question running through this week’s 5-star Friday, it is this: Is more always better? As someone who has worked in healthcare, my typical answer is that more evidence is certainly better. (As is more listening and empathy, for that matter!) And as someone who reads a fair amount of health care reporting, I would […]