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Glowing terms mostly used for new cancer drugs in health news

(Reuters Health) – Health news stories mostly use overly confident terms to news new cancer drugs, according to a new study.

“Each year it seems, we review about a new drug that’s labeled as a ‘game changer’ or another showy word,” pronounced comparison author Dr. Vinay Prasad, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

“These are difference that have a lot of definition to people,” he said.

Searching by Google News, a researchers found 94 stories published over 5 days that used superlatives like “cure” or “breakthrough” to news a cancer drug.

The stories infrequently praised drugs before they were authorized by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or had been tested on humans, a investigate group writes in JAMA Oncology.

Prasad and his co-author Matthew Abola, of CaseWestern Reserve University

School of Medicine in Cleveland, contend news articles can be vicious sources of information, though regulating a wrong terms might lead to misunderstandings.

Over 5 days in Jun 2015, they used Google’s news hunt engine to demeanour for a tenure “cancer drug” and any of 10 superlatives: “breakthrough,” “game changer,” “miracle,” “cure,” “home run,” “revolutionary,” “transformative,” “life saver,” “groundbreaking” and “marvel.”

Overall, they found 94 stories from 66 news organizations that used 97 superlatives to news 36 opposite drugs. Three stories never named a drugs being described.

Half a drugs had not been authorized by a FDA and 14 percent had not been tested on humans.

Journalists were a ones many expected to use a superlatives, accounting for 55 percent of instances. They were followed by doctors, attention experts, patients and one member of a U.S. Congress.

“What we found is that it wasn’t only journalists,” Prasad told Reuters Health. “It’s physicians and people putting out press releases, too.”

A multiple diagnosis for skin cancer regulating a drugs Ipilimumab and Nivolumab, that are marketed as Yervoy-Opdivo by Bristol-Myers Squibb, was described with a many superlatives during 20.

Prasad pronounced they aren’t against to regulating these 10 difference as a sweeping policy, though those are mostly not a many obliged word choices.

In a explanation currently on HealthNewsReview.org, a site’s publisher Gary Schwitzer says difference matter and good justification should mount on a own.

“None of this is startling to us, as we’ve scrutinized health caring broadcasting for decades,” Schwitzer writes in response to a stream study. “In fact, a 15-year aged article, ’7 Words You Shouldn’t Use in Medical News,’ enclosed 3 of a terms used in this new analysis.”

“Words matter,” Schwitzer writes. “Framing matters. Hype causes harm. Let a justification pronounce for itself. Good justification doesn’t need sugar-coating with superlatives.”

Journalists should be savvy when covering cancer drugs in development, Prasad said.

“The easy resolution is to news specifics,” he said. “How good did people do holding a medicine? Did a cancer shrink? How prolonged did people live?”

Patients, Prasad said, should be vicious about a health stories they read, and ask questions of their doctors.

“These difference unequivocally do have a large change on how we consider about these things,” he said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1GzaxuA JAMA Oncology, online Oct 29, 2015.

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/us-health-news-terms-cancer-idUSKCN0SN2OT20151029

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