Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Blogs  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 

 Headlines:

 

Category: Family Medicine | Oncology | Psychiatry | News

Back to Health News

Cancer Portrayed Too Grimly in Movies, Study Suggests

Last Updated: September 21, 2012.

 

Many popular films use death as plot device even though survival is much improved, researcher says

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Many popular films use death as plot device even though survival is much improved, researcher says.

FRIDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Movies rarely portray a cancer patient's chances of survival accurately and need to show audiences that a cancer diagnosis is far from always a death sentence, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed 82 movies that center on a person with cancer -- including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Gran Torino" and "Diary of a Country Priest" -- and found that the cancer experiences depicted in the films were quite different from the truth.

The investigators found that cancer patients died in 63 percent of the movies. The most frequent treatments mentioned in the movies were chemotherapy and pain relief. Cancer symptoms were mentioned in 72 percent of the movies and diagnostic tests were mentioned in 65 percent.

The findings were scheduled for presentation Thursday at the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting, in Vienna.

"Nowadays, cinema is confronting the most important issues for oncological disease, which were mostly absent in the earlier days of cinema," Dr. Luciano De Fiore at Sapienza University of Rome, said in a society news release. "Cancer is no easy matter to portray, and seeing it in a movie gives the audience a chance to give voice to their emotions. This is useful for the sharing of cancer care, from personal or familiar problems to issues of collective relevance."

However, the movies tend to offer a bleak outlook for cancer patients.

"Very often the ill person doesn't get over the disease and his death is somehow useful to the plot's outcome. This pattern is so strongly standardized that it persists in spite of real progress of treatments," De Fiore said.

Some common types of cancer -- such as breast cancer -- were barely represented in movies, the researchers found, while depictions of lymphomas, leukemia and brain tumors predominated.

De Fiore suggested there is an "educational gap" in movies' depiction of cancer.

"Patients' survival is very rarely due to treatments in the cinema. Fortunately in real life, this has become mostly untrue," he said.

Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute explains cancer prognosis.

SOURCE: European Society for Medical Oncology, news release, Sept. 19, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


Previous: Poor Sleep May Make High Blood Pressure Worse Next: Obese Black Kids More Susceptible to Hypertension, Study Finds

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.