Photo: NIH Image Gallery via FlickrElectron micrograph of two cytotoxic T cells (red) attacking an oral squamous cancer cell (white), part of a natural immune response.
If you write anything about cancer treatment, it’s nearly impossible to avoid writing about immunotherapy. But reporting on immunotherapy can quickly become complex, confusing and overwhelming. A new AHCJ tip sheet on cancer immunotherapy can help you to report effectively and appropriately on the topic.
The therapy is exactly what it sounds like. Cancer immunotherapy works to recruit the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer instead of using chemotherapy to kill cancer cells directly. Continue reading
A group of journalists will spend three partial days online with experts from the National Institutes of Health in January to increase their understanding of and ability to report accurately on complex scientific findings, provide insight into the work of cancer researchers and to better localize cancer-related stories. Continue reading
Lead time bias is a well-recognized challenge especially when it comes to studies and statistics looking at cancer screenings. As the entry on the AHCJ website explains, lead time bias is a type of bias that can “artificially inflate the survival time of someone with a disease.”
How? When providers get better at looking for — and finding — a disease, it appears to lengthen the time someone survives after diagnosis. In reality, the patient is not necessarily living longer than they would have if the disease were discovered later. It just seems like they’re living longer because the disease is identified sooner, and the “clock” on survival time starts earlier. Continue reading
Photo: National Cancer Institute
When I first began writing in health and science journalism, my biggest “micro-beat” was vaccines (and still is). I had spent more than a year in graduate school reading up on vaccines and interviewing dozens of folks in the field or tangential to it (such as parents and advocates) before I published any substantive articles about vaccines for a publication.
I was fortunate to be able to spend that time diving so deep into a single area, but it also gave me a deep appreciation for the areas I would not want to cover without being able to spend a similar amount of time studying up on them first. For years after I began working as a full-time journalist, that included anything in oncology. Continue reading
An under-reported public health story is the connection between infectious diseases and cancer.
In December 2019, a report in Lancet Global Health said that infectious diseases are now thought to be the cause of about 12 percent of cancers worldwide.
One of the biggest culprits is the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes an estimated 14 million new infections each year. It also is the most prevalent sexually transmitted virus in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading
Research has long shown that Americans from minority groups and those with a lower socioeconomic status are less likely to get routine dental visits than patients who are white and more affluent. A new study finds that even when minorities or those who are poorer and less educated do receive oral health services, they are less likely to receive oral cancer (OC)screenings that could lead an early diagnosis. Continue reading