Cancer World Newsletter - Don't play with numbers Print
Headline writers and advertisers can opt for impact over clarity, leaving the public confused
about cancer risks and prevention. This makes it all the more important that those of us whose
priority is to inform people and help them make the best choices are clear and consistent in the
way we do it. This editorial looks at how to present statistical information in a way that is easy for
readers to interpret and apply, and calls on everyone involved writing educational material and
press releases to make a conscious effort to use the most effective statistical formats.

What do you think?

  • Could more consistent use of statistics that give absolute instead of (or as well as) relative
    risk/benefit help people make better sense of information about cancer?
  • Is the medical community ever guilty of (mis)using statistics to grab attention, even though
    this may add to the widespread confusion about cancer?
  • How can we do things better?
You can read the editorial here. Press the comment button to share your views.