Media coverage of lung cancer is increasing, and increasingly negative, new report shows

October 28, 2008

NEW YORK (October 28, 2008) - CancerCare today announced that despite an overall increase in news reporting on lung cancer, the overall tone of lung cancer media coverage has become significantly more negative. "How the U.S. Media Report on Cancer," an analysis of lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer coverage, was an independent report conducted by CARMA International Inc. for CancerCare; previous analyses were issued in 2000 and 2004. The report evaluated volume of coverage for each of the cancer types, topics of discussion, favorability and tone for the period August 2007 through July 2008.

For the first time since the 2000 report, coverage of smoking and tobacco use as it relates to lung cancer increased. Smoking and tobacco use featured prominently in 44 percent of lung cancer coverage - up from 31 percent in the 2003-2004 analysis.

"The prominence of smoking in media reports on lung cancer may be contributing to the stigma that lung cancer patients say they feel, regardless of whether or not they have smoked," said Diane Blum, Executive Director of CancerCare. "We're hopeful that research on new screening methods and new treatments will broaden the scope of lung cancer coverage and help reduce the stigma that people with lung cancer feel."

The report also noted that breast cancer coverage, with the highest favorability rating, often featured personal stories of breast cancer survivors or a celebrity advocating for greater awareness of the disease. In contrast, none of the lung cancer articles and reports analyzed included a lung cancer survivor story, likely contributing to the negative favorability rating. Moreover, of the four cancers analyzed, lung cancer garnered the lowest volume of stories discussing treatment.

Across all four cancers, media reporting on cancer research increased since the 2004 report, accounting for 39 percent of coverage. Cancer treatment remained an important topic for all cancers.

"CancerCare works with lung cancer patients and survivors every day, and we know a lung cancer diagnosis can be frightening for patients, families and caregivers," said Win Boerckel, CancerCare's National Lung Cancer Program coordinator. "We encourage the press to consider how they report on lung cancer, specifically the prominence of smoking as a risk factor, and to include survivor stories and resources when possible."

Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in men and women (after prostate and breast, respectively). Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death in both men and women. There are more than 50,000 people who survive lung cancer each year.

Important findings from the analysis include:
-end-
About CancerCare

CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs include counseling, education, financial assistance for qualified individuals to cover treatment-related costs, and practical help. All services are provided by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Its National Lung Cancer Program offers free education and counseling services to people facing lung cancer and their loved ones. Last year, CancerCare relaunched its website for people affected by lung cancer, at www.lungcancer.org. For more information about CancerCare's free services, call 1-800-812-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org.

Zeno Group

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.