Media bozos buy cancer bra hype

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The headlines were breathless: A company is developing a smart bra that could detect breast cancer and maybe even replace mammograms. News outlets from the Boston Globe to CBS News to Fox News uncritically swallowed a company s claims that its thermal-imaging brassiere had proven more reliable than mammograms in detecting breast cancer in 650 women.
As Gary Schwitzer points out in his Health News Review, these stories hyping an unproven and unapproved product read more like advertisements than independent journalism. Schwitzer talked with experts in the field something most of the aforementioned news outlets failed to do and all three were skeptical about the utility of this smart bra. One who did a little digging was also unable to find details of the clinical trials the company has ostensibly done backing the brassiere.
ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross calls the stories ridiculous. It s really a public relations gambit that was treated like a scientific news report, without any data to support it, he says. This shows that the news media are loathe to pass up any opportunity to discuss and if possible show women s breasts, regardless as to whether the product actually has any diagnostic benefit.