The media and prostate cancer screening

Suzanne K Steginga and Robert (aka Frank) A Gardiner
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01387.x
Published online: 5 November 2007

Provision of incorrect information or incorrect data interpretation does not serve anyone well

In this issue of the Journal, MacKenzie and colleagues present data to show that, over an 18-month period, media reports about prostate cancer were dominated by statements emphasising Australian men’s risk of prostate cancer, encouraging screening for early detection, and providing reassurance about side effects for treatments that emphasise emerging technologies (→ "The news is [not] all good": misrepresentations and inaccuracies in Australian news media reports on prostate cancer screening).1 In particular, they draw attention to rhetoric that unequivocally supports screening, which would seem to be irresponsible, given the lack of definitive data to show that population-based screening will reduce mortality.

  • 1 The Cancer Council Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 4 Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.


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