Health News Review
  • Nov 24 2014

    A look at robotic surgery proliferation in Denmark

    Frederik Joelving, who once did outstanding work for ReutersHealth in the U.S., recently published a piece on robotic surgery in Politiken, a major newspaper in Denmark. A rough translation of the way the article concluded: “It may be difficult to reverse (the proliferation trend) if the large randomized trials that other countries are doing should [...]

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  • Nov 24 2014

    “Health care consumers in the dark” – no kidding

    That headline appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune print edition yesterday. The focus of the article was how difficult it is to obtain medical cost data despite a state law and other efforts to increase transparency. The same newspaper had a brief column the previous day about open enrollment season for workplace medical benefits, but [...]

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  • Nov 21 2014

    More NBC TODAY Show men have more body parts probed during TV sweeps month

    Last November, it was Matt Lauer and Al Roker having their prostates probed on live TV via digital rectal exam. This November TV sweeps period – today to be precise – Willie Geist and Carson Daly had their testicles probed live on the air. The common denominator:  the prober was telegenic, media magnet Dr. David [...]

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  • Nov 20 2014

    Hockey fans treated to more than slap shot; how about prostate exam?

    Milwaukee media loved this Movember promotion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: Milwaukee Admirals vice president of sales and marketing Mike Wojciechowski will undergo a prostate examination at Saturday night’s match against the Rockford Ice Hogs to raise awareness of men’s health issues…. The team is holding promotions during November to help raise money for the [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Inadvertent disease-mongering of diabetes puts media innumeracy on display

    In another of the occasional Hypewatch features on MedPage Today, Kristina Fiore writes, “Hypewatch: 100 Million Diabetic Americans in the Dark?” A third of Americans have diabetes but don’t know it? That’s almost as hard to believe as the IOM’s conclusion that a third of Americans live with severe chronic pain. The diabetes figure is [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Evaluating evidence in media messages about breast cancer

    The National Breast Cancer Coalition asked me to deliver a presentation at its Project LEAD® workshop in Washington, DC, on November 16. Project LEAD® is designed for NBCC members who want “an introductory education in the science of breast cancer, research design, advocacy and understanding medical news in the media.” My slides appear below.   [...]

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  • Nov 18 2014

    IMPROVE-IT heart drug trial news: Game-changer? Or balderdash?

    Lub-dub…lub-dub…. The drumbeat of heart news coming out of the American Heart Association is loud and clear.  But some who read and listen closely are seeing and hearing arrhythmias – disturbances in the signal. The New York Times reported: For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that [...]

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  • Nov 12 2014

    A 15-year retrospective on a shared decision-making encounter, a lawsuit, and not winning

    I didn’t see any news coverage of Dr. Dan Merenstein’s article in JAMA Internal Medicine last week, “PSA Screening — I Finally Won!” Maybe there was some reporting but I missed it. But if there wasn’t any news coverage, maybe that’s understandable.  It was “just” a perspective piece.  It’s based on old news – a [...]

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  • Nov 11 2014

    Pitt urologist peaved by prostate CA ads in NY Times & New Yorker

    Pitt urologist Benjamin Davies writes on a Forbes blog, “Prostate Cancer Advertising: Lies And The Damn Lies (Part 1).” He criticizes ads in the Sunday New York Times Magazine and in The New Yorker from last weekend. He writes: I have a rating system for prostate cancer advertisements based on two self-evident tenets.  First,  cancer advertising [...]

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  • Oct 31 2014

    Radiologists’ free mammography infographic leaves out vital info

    As another Breast Cancer Awareness month closes for another year, let’s take a look at an infographic that the American College of Radiology sent out to journalists earlier this month.  Here’s a portion of the email that I received:   We all make mistakes, but the misspelling of mammography gets this email off to a [...]

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