Everyday Health: Can surgery to remove cancer spread the disease? A study in mice suggests that it can—and considers an easy-to-take therapy that may help avoid the problem
Rating: 4.0 Stars
- The headline is a bit misleading. This study tested the growth of distant metastases in response to wound healing, not the ability of cancer to spread due to the surgery itself. Nor did the mice research involve removal of tumor tissue. The lede is more accurate, and overall, the article is well-balanced and presents some of the different hypotheses about metastases.
- The study's senior author and an additional outside source are cited. The article is clear and easy to read. The novelty of the research is accurately portrayed.
- This article is accurate in reporting the research described in the study. Scientific terminology is used correctly. This article contains some critical evaluation of the research question but not the research itself. It does not convey statistics.
STAT: Cancer surgery can awaken tumor cells, but in mice a cheap pill stops metastasis
Rating: 3.0 Stars
- This article’s title is a bit misleading. All studies were done in mice and the deterrent tested was not a pill but an injection of a mouse NSAID. The article is not well-balanced, presenting only the author’s hypothesis.
- Only study authors are cited; no outside sources are used. The article is written in an easy, accessible style and the novelty of the research is conveyed.
- The science that is presented is conveyed accurately with correct scientific terminology. The statistics presented are accurate. The language is at times inaccurately melodramatic, e.g., “Tumors burst their immune-system bounds."
- The research is not critically evaluated.
USA Today: Healing process after breast cancer surgery may trigger spread of cancer,” study says
Rating: 3.0 Stars
- The headline and lede do not match the claims of the article. Not until midway through the text do the authors note that these studies are done in mice and not humans, and that relevance to humans is unclear.
- The article does not present other potential explanations for these findings. However, other studies, including some preliminary work in humans, is cited. It also discusses debate over which drug might work best and surgeons’ uncertainty about prescribing anti-inflammatory agents close to surgery.
- The article cites multiple other researchers and describes additional studies that complement the findings. It is easy to read and portrays the novelty of this research.
- Related research in humans is more critically evaluated than research on mice. The scientific terminology is sparsely used but accurate. The reporting is inaccurate in places, overstating or exaggerating the confidence of some claims. Little statistical evidence is presented.