Search Results for "screening"
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 […]12
Is PSA now “OK”? What the task force really said about the evidence on prostate cancer screening
Reading the headlines on the US Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) update to its prostate cancer screening guidelines, you might come away with the idea that the task force has completely reversed its 2012 recommendation against broad-based prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. But that would be the wrong impression. What the revised guideline does is make a […]
What you’re not being told about ‘free’ public head and neck cancer screening events
‘Tis the season of oral, head, and neck cancer screenings, with a plethora of free public events taking place at health clinics and hospitals all over the country right now. Judging by the abundant and largely uncritical news coverage, it’s been a major PR win for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, which runs the trademarked […]1
Breast cancer and the ballot box: political messages about screening prioritize votes over informed decisions
In late February, the New York Department of Financial Services trumpeted this news to reporters: “Governor Cuomo Announces Action To Expand Cutting-Edge Breast Cancer Screening Options For Women.” The news release noted that New York’s health insurers must cover medically necessary 3-D mammograms without co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles. The governor called his action “the most […]1
The harms of cancer screening: It’s time to get personal
Can cancer screening be harmful? Among those of us who read or write about screening for our jobs, it’s an easy, emphatic answer: Yes of course it carries potential harms–just like any medical intervention. Yet, the notion that screening might have negative effects isn’t something that the general public hears very often. Instead, we’re confronted with […]13
One key detail you’re unlikely to see in news stories about mammography screening guidelines
In mid-January, there was a flurry of news media activity focusing on breast cancer screening and the problem of overdiagnosis, particularly when breast tumors are benign but treated as if they were deadly. Stories in Forbes, NBC, USA Today, Medscape and Time Magazine covered a Danish study that found up to a third of breast cancers detected via […]2
Do we need more screening for sleep apnea?
Here we go again. To screen or not to screen, that is the question. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF), in a report published in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association, says there is not enough evidence to weigh the benefits and risks of screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults who don’t […]
WHO exposes deceptive promotion of industry-supported FRAX osteoporosis screening tool
When the World Health Organization (WHO) speaks people usually listen. As the planet’s premier health policy-making body, the WHO influences healthcare and medical practice around the globe. Their expert committees create reports that underpin guidelines, affecting the health care delivered by practitioners on every continent. When the WHO issues a particularly controversial statement, you’d think […]8
‘Zero deaths’ from breast cancer? NBC viewers misinformed by puff piece on screening test
It’s hard to know where to begin with this story from NBC Nightly News about a supposedly “new” test that could be a “lifesaver” for women with dense breasts whose cancer might not show up on a normal mammogram. NBC’s top-rated newscast reaches some 8 million total viewers every night, so it’s important to set […]