“CNN ‘BREAKING news: cure for cancer close.” By Gary Schwitzer, Health News Review

Gary Schwitzer of Health News Review critiques Sanjay Gupta’s reporting of MD Anderson’s “Moot Shots Program” as a “Giant leap for mankind.” Gupta announced via Twitter: “BREAKING cure for #cancer close says md anderson. plan to “drastically reduce” cases & deaths n 5yrs! im reporting excl details all day @cnn.” But Schwitzer argues that reporting about the new program as “BREAKING news…breakthrough…cure close…exclusive…” (also captured on the CNN website) is inherently misleading in multiple ways. It leads viewers to believe something truly novel is happening. From the headline and accompanying spin, most would be led to believe that a big part of a future decline in cancer deaths would come from new discoveries about cancer when in fact, MD Anderson Cancer Center President told Gupta that that the biggest advances against cancer would come from applying existing knowledge, something we already fail to do.

Schwitzer ends by sharing a recent journal article: “Applying What We Know to Accelerate Cancer Prevention.” Graham A. Colditz, Kathleen Y. Wolin and Sarah Gehlert. Science: Translational Medicine, 28 March 2012: Vol. 4, Issue 127, p. 127rv4

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