Read Original Story

Shades of gray: Debate continues over diagnostic scans for lung cancer

Rating

5 Star

Shades of gray: Debate continues over diagnostic scans for lung cancer

Our Review Summary

The idea of lung cancer screening is certainly appealing. Lung cancer is common and deadly, very often found too late for treatment to be effective. So what if you could find it early? Unfortunately the results of studies on CT screening haven’t supported this fully and the largest and most rigorous study to date is still years away from providing answers.

This story does an excellent job of describing the promise and controversy of lung cancer screening. It presents the results of the contradictory studies and explains why some experts are hesitant to apply the conclusions of the 2006 study to policy decisions mandating screening. 

The story accurately represents the cost of the scans, which are often not covered by insurance. The story could have mentioned that once a scan finds something suspicious, follow-up scans are needed at regular intervals, driving up the costs. These additional scans are typically covered by insurance.

Overall, a fine piece of reporting, following up on a state court ruling.

 

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story accurately represents the cost of the scans, which are often not covered by insurance. The story could have mentioned that once a scan finds something suspicious, biopsies and/or follow-up scans are needed at regular intervals, driving up the costs. These additional scans are typically covered by insurance.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The evidence doesn’t show a clear estimate of survival benefit, which the story made clear.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Satisfactory

The story mentions that CT scanning could lead to unnecessary harms and procedures. The story could have specifically mentioned radiation exposure.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

The story does a good job of describing the current study and the controversy around the results.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

The story does not exaggerate the seriousness or prevalence of lung cancer.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Satisfactory

The story quotes multiple experts who provide valuable perspective.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The story accurately describes that there aren’t really any alternatives to preventing death from lung cancer other than quitting smoking.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

Clearly screening for lung cancer is not a new idea.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Because the story quotes multiple experts, it’s clear that the story did not rely on a press release as the sole source of information.

Total Score: 10 of 10 Satisfactory

Comments

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.