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(UPDATE) American Cancer Society: “Only” A Fundraising Ad, Right?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview.org August 11th blog post below entitled “American Cancer Society: ‘Only’ A Fundraising Ad, Right?”, the American Cancer Society pulled its “Screening Is Seeing” ad the next day.

See Schwitzer’s follow-up post “Screening Is Seeing” Ad By American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) Is Pulled” and a related article by Mary Carmichael of Newsweek: ”The American Cancer Society’s Misleading New Ads.

Also see “Common Themes In The Alzheimer’s Test Stories And The Cancer Society Screening Ad” by Schwitzer.

(ORIGINAL POST)

American Cancer Society: “Only” A Fundraising Ad, Right?

A well-intentioned ad campaign run by the American Cancer Society is too vague, and therefore may leave impressions that are imbalanced, incomplete and unsubstantiated — the kind of common tactic seen in many drug company ads. That’s my opinion based on my analysis of the ad and based on my reading of the text.

An American Cancer Society news release states:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is launching a new print and online advertising campaign in congressional districts across the country this week, urging lawmakers to fully fund a lifesaving cancer prevention, early detection and diagnostic program that is celebrating 20 years of screening low income, uninsured, and medically underserved women for breast and cervical cancer. The ads also send the message that when it comes to increasing your odds of surviving cancer, access to evidence-based early detection tools is critical.

The ads reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), which has a track record of reducing deaths from breast and cervical cancer. The program has provided more than 9 million screening exams to more than 3 million women and diagnosed more than 40,000 cases of breast cancer and more than 2,000 cases of cervical cancer since it launched in 1990. But with limited funding, the program is able to serve fewer than 1 in 5 eligible women.

The accomplishments of the CDC NBCCEDP are noteworthy. So this blog entry is no knock on that program. It’s a criticism of the ad. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

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