SIGN UP FOR UPDATES!
Sign up for Englemed updates from TwitterSign up for Englemed updates from Facebook
ENGLEMED
Contact Englemed
Our contact email address.
We can provide a specialist, tailored health and medical news service for your site.
Click here for more information
RSS graphic XML Graphic Add to Google
About Englemed news services - services and policies.
Englemed News Blog - Ten years and counting.
Diary of a reluctant allergy sufferer - How the British National Health Service deals with allergy.
BOOKS AND GIFTS THIS WAY!
BookshopFor books on women's health, healthy eating ideas, mental health issues, diabetes, etc click here
SEARCH THIS SITE
Copyright Notice. All reports, text and layout copyright Englemed Ltd, 52 Perry Avenue, Birmingham UK B42 2NE. Co Registered in England No 7053778 Some photos copyright Englemed Ltd, others may be used with permission of copyright owners.
Disclaimer: Englemed is a news service and does not provide health advice. Advice should be taken from a medical professional or appropriate health professional about any course of treatment or therapy.
FreeDigitalPhotos
www.freedigitalphotos.net
FreeWebPhotos
www.freewebphoto.com
FROM OUR NEWS FEEDS
Fertility hope for men with extra chromosomes
Fri August 18th - A new technique has offered hope of helping men with extra chromosomes have healthy children, according to British scientists. More
RECENT COMMENTS
On 12/03/2017 Steph wrote:
The photo you have paired with this article is its... on 'Fat shaming' limits...
On 11/02/2016 Gary thomson wrote:
Can't wait for this to be available in constant pa... on Mood drug may tackle chronic p...
On 23/11/2015 kole tshibangu wrote:
i would like to encourage those doctor whom have f... on Sickle cell cure hopes...
On 22/10/2015 barry Stanley wrote:
This publication can be downloaded for free. Expo... on Second glass increases breast ...
On 31/07/2015 Yifru wrote:
Dear Sir/Madam, Thank you for giving coverage for ... on Evidence favours caesarean for...
OUR CLIENTS
THIS WEEK'S STORIES
ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Cancer not accurately portrayed in the movies

Friday September 21st, 2012

Movies rarely portray survival rates of cancer accurately, a study of 82 films has revealed.

Research carried out by the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, found that while film directors concentrated on relatively rare types of the disease, characters often don’t survive because their death is “useful to the plot’s outcome”.

Dr Luciano De Fiore examined 82 films that centre on a person with cancer, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Gran Torino and Diary of a Country Priest.

He will tell delegates at the ESMO 2012 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Vienna, Austria, which takes place between September 28 and October 2, that the cancer experiences described on the big screen are different from reality.

“Nowadays cinema is confronting the most important issues for oncological disease, which were mostly absent in the earlier days of cinema,” says Dr De Fiore.

“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.”

But the prognosis for cancer patients is not always as bleak as fictitious plots make out, which suggests that there is an “educational gap in the concept of movies on cancer”, he says.

“Very often the ill person doesn’t get over the disease and his death is somehow useful to the plot’s outcome,” explains Dr De Fiore. “This pattern is so strongly standardised that it persists in spite of real progress of treatments.

“Patients’ survival is very rarely due to treatments in the cinema. Fortunately in real life, this has become mostly untrue.”

In the films that were studied, 40 female characters and 35 men had cancer. In 21 of the movies, the type of cancer was not mentioned, while symptoms were considered in 72 per cent and diagnostic tests were mentioned in 65 per cent.

The most common treatment was chemotherapy followed by pain-relief, but the cancer patient died in 63 per cent of the films.

Despite the flaws, movies about cancer could have a positive impact, for patients and for doctors, say the researchers.

“Using the ‘big screen’ to show stories about cancer could help raise awareness about how large the problem is and what new therapies are available,” says Dr De Fiore. “Also, by watching movies on cancer, oncologists could become more conscious of problems they are already facing in the therapeutic setting: cancer and sexuality, the relationship between the patient and the medical staff, side-effects of therapies. And some films simply make us reflect upon the meaning of life and death.”

Annals of Oncology September 20 2012 Volume 23, Supplement 9

Tags: Cancer | Europe | General Health

Printer friendly page Printer friendly page

Comment on this article:

Name:
Email:
Comment:
<a>,<b> & <p> tags allowed
Please enter the letters displayed:
(not case sensitive)
CATEGORIES