Jump to content

Australia: TV Gives Warped View of Cancer


Recommended Posts

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24 ... 02,00.html


. . . . . . . . .

TELEVISION news is giving Australians a warped view of cancer rates by over-publicising cervical and breast cancer and largely ignoring cancers affecting men, researchers have claimed.

An investigation of news and current affairs shows has found that cancers affecting women, like breast, ovarian and cervical cancer, and stories about female celebrities with cancer dominate cancer stories in the media.

The Sydney researchers behind the work say the skewed publicity is giving the Australian public and politicians a confused view about the prevalence and severity of different cancers.

"Although men have higher incidence and mortality from all non-sex specific forms of cancer than women, the public face of cancer in our study was overwhelmingly female," said Kevin McGeechan, a lecturer in the school of public health at the University of Sydney.

The study, published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia, found two cancers were particularly neglected by the media, lung and bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer kills more Australians than any other cancer and is the focus of a national screening campaign but it gets just a third of the coverage of cervical cancer, which has only half the prevalence, Mr McGeechan said.

He said lung cancer, which has the highest death rate, may get little publicity because of a lack of sympathy due to its link with smoking.

"This imbalance in television reportage of cancer may be distorting political and community perceptions about which cancers are most prevalent and tractable and thereby deserving of government and community support, research investment and individual vigilance," Mr McGeechan said.

"For example, breast cancer attracts unparalleled research funding from individuals and governments while other cancers causing more disability struggle to gain a fraction of such support.

"As a former Australian health minister commented 'It's not sexy to have testicular or prostate cancer, so you don't get a run (in the media)'."

. . . . . . . . .

(News.com.au, By Tamara McLean, August 3, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.