Sunday House Call, #669, September 30, 2018: News reports that use relative risk to incite fear misrepresent the absolute risk and disrespect the audience
Topics today include:
An news report about colon cancer in younger adults uses relative risk to incite fear. Indeed, the symptoms and signs of colon cancer should be evaluated regardless of age but be honest with your audience. Provide them with absolute risk numbers. But then again, news media would not be able to wax hyperbolic. So here are the actual numbers behind the report. These come from the National Cancer Institute where you can search for any type of cancer incidence by age group.
Colorectal cancer per 100,000 incidence between 1975 and 2015
Your calls about:Seer.cancer.gov/faststats
- Complex ovarian cyst
- Discontinuing ranitidine for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease
- An 83 year-old man with coronary artery stenosis and history of angina would like to know if he should stop his statin medication.