Kathy Redmond wrote an editorial in the November issue of Nature Clinical Practice Oncology about the media coverage of cancer. She argues that this coverage is frequently of poor quality, reinforcing the myth of cancer as an automatic death sentence and the overemphasis on stories about wonder cures.
To improve this situation, the European School of Oncology – where Kathy Redmond is coordinator of the media program – last year started an annual Best Cancer Reporter Award. And two days ago, ESO organized a media forum entitled Cancer: Time for a Reality Check in Rome. And ESO is partnering with Nature Clinical Practice Oncology to collect summaries of important research findings to journalists.
For those of us working in cancer research, it is important to remember to communicate our research findings not only in journal articles and scientific meetings. We probably have to do a much better job in talking to the media and the public. One example would be to start a blog about a particular area of cancer research or cancer patient care. The number of quality blogs in this area could be much higher, and some blogs even had to close down.