Following up on epidemiology showing that diabetics taking metformin have a decreased cancer incidence, new research using mice found further support for pursuing the possibility of using this drug to reduce the risk of lung cancer in general. Though the mechanisms are not fully understood, and there is still the need to do research with humans, this sounds quite promising. (Article link here).
As I was looking at how this finding was reported I found that in general it was exactly as it should be. The researchers were quite conservative in their comments and most reports exhibited good basic journalism and told the story for what it was.
But two reports were interesting and hearken back to our previous posts on tobacco related reporting in the media.
The first example is from the Australian HeraldSun :Diabetes drug reduces cancer in smokers, says new study. After giving over a cursory report of the good news, they just cannot help adding a bit of anti-smoking paternalism (unfortunately quite consistent given that recently Australia has been neck to neck with California in enacting full out health nannyism):
But smokers can’t carry on puffing away thinking they are safe by taking the drug — it does not prevent other smoking-related illnesses such as emphysema and heart problems.
And this Reuters article Diabetes drug may keep lung cancer at bay conforms quite well to our parody post of a while ago on inserting the required Chicken Little elements even if entirely unrelated to the content of the story. After the actual news, we have to finish off this article two short paragraphs saying:
The World Health Organization says tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death globally, killing more than 5 million people each year from heart disease, cancer and lung disease.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent of U.S. adults smoke. Tobacco kills one-third to one-half of those who smoke.
It really has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Is it just me who sees this as a little strange?
-Paul L. Bergen