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US cancer center advertisements sell treatments using hope and fear, study finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 28 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3603
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Advertisements for cancer centers in the United States promote treatments rather than screening and supportive care and rely on emotional appeals that focus on the hope of cure rather than the comfort and quality of life, a new study has found.

In the study, researchers looked at 409 magazine and television advertisements placed by 102 US cancer centers in 2012. Their results were published online in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Laura B Vater, of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the study’s lead author.1

Vater and her …

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