2 6/13/2018

Can’t say we didn’t warn you: Study finds popular health news stories overstate the evidence

A new study confirms something we here at HealthNewsReview.org have been emphasizing for many years: Health news stories often overstate the evidence from a new study, inaccurately claiming that one thing causes another — as in drinking alcohol might help you live longer, facial exercises may keep your cheeks perky, and that diet soda might be a […]


Cancer misinformation in various media irks breast cancer patients in US & UK

When we recently announced our new series on patient harms from misleading media, I heard from Robert O’Connor, PhD, research head for the Irish Cancer Society.  He wanted to add an international perspective to what we were seeing about cancer misinformation in the U.S., and he wanted to help bring more patient voices into the […]

5 6/11/2018

Pathologists predicted the Theranos debacle, but their voices were missing from most news coverage

Theranos, the fraudulent laboratory company whose rise and fall is recounted in a recent exposé entitled “Bad Blood,” was a darling of investors and news outlets for a more than a decade. The company suffered a rapid change of fate in late 2015 after Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou revealed the shaky underpinnings of […]


CBS: “breakthrough” on supposed opioid alternative not even tested in humans yet

The CBS Morning News packed so much hyperbolic punch into one piece, it was breathtaking.  They promoted the piece as “only seen on CBS This Morning,” and thank goodness for that.   Keep in mind that the story admitted that the compound hasn’t been tested in humans yet.  In that context, let these claims soak […]


5-Star Friday: Celebrating some slow journalism

We’ve just wrapped up a busy week of scrutinizing the news coverage of the world’s largest cancer meeting. In many ways medical meetings symbolize what is functional and dysfunctional about our current health care system. On the plus side, you’ll find a host of incredibly talented and committed providers eager to learn and eager to […]

4 6/7/2018

One cancer patient’s dramatic response to immunotherapy. But …

A 49-year-old Floridian named Judy Perkins with metastatic breast cancer, whose illness has progressed despite multiple trials of chemotherapy, goes into complete remission after being treated with immunotherapy by Steven Rosenberg, MD, PhD —  whom CBS dubs “a pioneer in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.” Rosenberg is no stranger to the spotlight. He […]


Questions about a ‘simple blood test’ to screen for cancer prompt revealing answer: It’s complicated

We often tell our readers to run for the hills whenever they see a news story touting a “simple blood test.” You won’t find a better example of why you need to be wary than an exchange between a reporter and a researcher at a news conference at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual […]


A hyped news release gets revised at ASCO: Did it lead to improved coverage from journalists?

We often write about the problems arising from hyped news releases coming out of medical conferences. But I don’t think we’ve ever written about an over-the-top news release getting toned down — and re-released — with more cautious language. Kudos to the media team at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology […]


Are the clinical trial results for breast cancer drug taselisib ‘incredibly exciting’ or ‘disappointing’?

The recent publicity around Roche’s drug taselisib is a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book: Depending on what news release or news article you read, you’d likely have very different conclusions about the drug’s performance in a recent clinical trial. Presented at ASCO18, the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the phase 3 […]


Yes, melanoma can be overdiagnosed, but news stories like these don’t discuss it

A study generated worldwide news coverage last week for documenting an advance in artificial intelligence (AI) applied to health care. It showed that a “deep learning convolutional neural network” could be trained to differentiate cancerous melanomas from benign moles more accurately than an international group of dermatologists. Many stories, like this U.S. News & World […]


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