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Media coverage of lung cancer is increasing, and increasingly negative, new report shows
Date:10/28/2008

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.<
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Contact: Julian Teixeira
julian.teixeira@zenogroup.com
202-965-7808
Zeno Group
Source:Eurekalert

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