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Media Coverage Drives Some Misperceptions about Cancer

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Ryan Hurley

Ryan Hurley

People need and want recent information about cancer in order to make decisions about how they might manage their personal prevention, detection, treatment, survivorship and end-of-life efforts. To get that information, they often turn to the news. But Ryan Hurley, a health communication researcher and assistant professor of communication at NC State, says problems can occur when the information people get from the news doesn’t reflect the real world. And new research suggests that people’s beliefs about cancer are tainted as a result.

Hurley has been analyzing public perception related to cancer, particularly as reported in the news media. He shares his research findings — and the impact of news coverage trends that don’t mirror real-world incidence rates — in this recent post in NC State’s research blog, The Abstract.