False Alarm: Incendiary Study Showing Prostate Cancer Spike Challenged
The American Cancer Society says the study’s methods do not pass muster with statistics experts, so the increase may not be real. In other news, a pilot program in California aims to better track cancer diagnoses.
The New York Times:
Study That Reported Sharp Rise In Prostate Cancer Is Questioned
Bad news for men popped up in news media all over the country this week, based on a study from Northwestern University reporting that cases of advanced, aggressive prostate cancer had risen sharply from 2004 to 2013. Newsweek, NBC, CBS, Fox News and United Press International were among the organizations that covered the study. The reports suggested that recent medical advice against routine screening might be to blame for the apparent increase in advanced cases, by leading to delays in diagnosis until the cancer reached a late stage. Another factor cited was the possibility that prostate cancer had somehow become more aggressive. (Grady, 7/20)
Kaiser Health News:
Tracking Cancer In Real Time
California is overhauling the way it collects information for its massive cancer database in the hope of improving how patients are treated for the disease. Pathologists at a dozen hospitals in the state are part of a pilot project — the first of its kind in the United States — in which they are reporting cancer diagnoses in close to real-time to the California Cancer Registry. And they are using standardized electronic forms to make their reporting more consistent and accurate. That represents a significant change for the registry, which traditionally relies on data up to two years old. (Gorman, 7/21)