National Breast Cancer Coalition

Myth #25: The media accurately reports breast cancer science

FALSE. Breast cancer is a complex disease with complex treatments. It is often difficult to capture all essential pieces of information in a short news segment or article.

Coming up on the five o'clock news: scientists have discovered a cure for breast cancer. Up next at 11 o'clock: the new breast cancer causing agent that might be lurking in your kitchen cabinets. Television programs and newspaper articles frequently report on the latest study in breast cancer causes, treatments and cures—each announcing the latest breakthrough, or caution, of the disease. While many of these stories are correct and others may contain some correct information, that is not always the case. And they don't always portray an accurate picture of the state of the disease.  

The media often gravitate toward stories that are extremely hopeful, or extremely fearful. However, the truth often falls within the middle ground, and in the small details. Breast cancer is a complex issue that can't be summarized into sound bites. As a result, the media sometimes gets the story right, but not always.