This story fails to deliver the stuff that people need to know about less-invasive vs. traditional biopsies, such as:
Rather than lots of numbers about increased useage, why not give us something we can use? Something we need? Is there evidence to show that this trend is absolutely a good thing? Are there unanswered questions remaining?
"Less invasive" and "minimally invasive" has not always meant better outcomes. Show us the data!
No discussion of costs – which is curious in a story describing the growth in use of less invasive biopsies, supposedly allowing for shorter hospital stays.
This was perhaps the most glaring omission in the story. No numbers were given to back up some vague, extravagant claims, such as:
"Minimally invasive" does not equate to "no harm." Yet no discussion of potential harms – either in traditional biopsies or in the minimally-invasive variety made it into the story. No medical intervention with any level of invasiveness is without harm. So potential harms must be discussed to make the story complete.
Key questions about the evidence were not asked or answered, such as:
Not applicable because no diseases were discussed in any detail.
One independent expert was quoted, although not to provide any data-driven evidence. And his quote, "I doubt there is variation to this in any major medical center" begs verification.
No evidence-based comparison of biopsy techniques was provided – only the vague testimonials on behalf of the less invasive approach mentioned above.
The availability – and growing use of – less invasive biopsies is the whole point of the story. But the story didn’t clarify how broad the study sample was – and how representative of different health care settings large and small, urban and rural, etc.. For this information to be truly meaningful and helpful to readers all over the US, such scrutiny is vital.
The story focused on the growth in use of – and therefore the relative lack of novelty anymore in – less invasive biopsies.
It does not appear that the story relied solely on a news release.