SEOUL, July 20 (Korea Bizwire) – According to a study conducted by a team of scientists from the National Cancer Center’s Department of Cancer Control Policy, press releases in South Korea often include exaggerated or inaccurate information regarding cancer, based on an ‘Extended Parallel Process Model’ that focuses on human psychology in communications studies.
A research team led by Professor Park Gi-ho arrived at this conclusion after analyzing 1,138 cancer-related articles and reports that were randomly chosen from 19 newspapers (16 daily newspapers, 3 medical journals), three TV broadcasting companies (KBS, MBC, SBS), and one news company (Yonhap).
The research team found that the Korean media typically stresses the downsides of the disease, such as the death rate, instead of providing information about prevention methods. Specifically, more than 30 percent of the reports did not mention any preventative measures for stomach cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and lung cancer, which can often be detected through regular check-ups.
Furthermore, there was a discrepancy between the reported incidence rates, death rates, and growth rates and the actual statistical values. Professor Park pointed out that the mortality rates of skin cancer and pancreatic cancer were exaggerated, while the same problem was found in growth rates of lung cancer, liver cancer, and pancreatic cancer as well.
“Because so many individuals are very conscious of being healthy, cancer has become one of the greatest concerns for Koreans,” said Professor Park. “As such, the press must be careful of what they present in terms of accurate information.”
“Instead of spreading fears about cancer, the press must work to deliver actual and relevant information in order to be more effective in informing people of the disease, which is curable and preventable if appropriate actions are taken,” said Park.
The study was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Korean Medical Science.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)