Monday, May 16, 2011

All The News. All the Time.

One thing that our information age has brought us is . . . lots of information.

Now I know that sounds redundant, but think about it for a moment. If you're over the age of 35 you can probably remember a time when information wasn't nearly as accessible as it is today. If I have a question - about anything from the mating habits of the Amazonian Milk Frog, (I just looked it up. It's real.), to the 1951 Q1 US GDP. (It's $211,250,0000 by the way - that took 30 seconds on Google.)

Before the internet there were 4 sources of information for the average person. TV, Newspaper, Encyclopedia, and whomever was sitting next to you at the moment.

With this avalanche of information comes, as this should be no surprise, some contradictions. And those contradictions are never more apparent than when dealing with one's health.

Case in point: Remember when eggs were good for you? They some 'experts' came out with a new study that said eggs would kill you? And now they think they're good for you again?

I could cite examples with confirming URLs, but that seems like a lot of work. I don't have an extra 2 minutes to spare.

So, as an experiement I set up a Google News Alert for 'Prostate Cancer'.

Oh my . . .

I have several other alerts set up to deliver information to me on various topics relevant to my interests. Mainly motorcycles. Possibly some LOL Cats. Meat. And I get a few links a day delivered in my email. Sometimes not.

Now I will share with you one day's worth of alerts regarding prostate cancer.


Rising prostate cancer rate seen in US servicemen
By Amy Norton NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The rate of prostate cancer among active-duty US Air Force members has been several times higher in recent years than it was 20 years ago, a new study finds. Researchers believe that the trend is not a sign of ...
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Protein Plays a Bad Role in Prostate Cancer
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Prostate cancer affects many men nationwide, and if caught early enough is curable, but little is understood about the mechanisms that cause a tumor to metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. ...
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MDV3100 in New Phase II Study
Medivation, Inc. (MDVN - Analyst Report) and Astellas Pharma, Inc. recently announced the initiation of a phase II study with their prostate cancer candidate, MDV3100. The study will evaluate MDV3100 as a monotherapy in hormone-naïve prostate cancer ...
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Prostate cancer screening doesn't cut death rates
A 20-years study from Sweden suggests that screening for prostate cancer does not substantially reduce the risk of death from the disease. On the other hand, a good many men might receive false-positive results and over-treatment, adding an element of ...
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Early intervention key to surviving prostate cancer
UVic chemist Dr. Fraser Hof, front, gets funding for his research into prostate cancer in part from proceeds raised by bikers Ike de Jong, back left, Frank Scott and Graham Mitchell. By Kyle Slavin - Saanich News Certain traits run in the family. ...
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Cancer screenings: Safe or superfluous?
By MARY SHEDDEN | The Tampa Tribune As far as he knows, no one in Terry Boykin's family has had cancer. Still, in August, motivated by his wife's concern, the 42-year-old Pinellas Park man took a prostate cancer screening test. ...
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No excuses: Get screened
Arizona Republic
Maybe you've heard about new research questioning PSA checks, blood tests that indicate prostate-cancer risk. Or about a study suggesting that many older men are getting PSA checks they don't need. And a new survey announced that 30 percent of women ...
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Take a look at those last 4 headlines.

Confusing? You bet. And that's one of the problems with today's information age - we have tons of information, but really no reliable way of quantifying the quality of that information.

I'm not saying that's wrong. We need to read all the information we can and make informed choices based on that information. But when the information is contradictory, what do we do?