Keeping scary health-related stories in perspective

Keeping scary health-related stories in perspective

There are many advantages to living in the digital age. For example, if you need a special present, you can usually buy it online and have it arrive on your doorstep the following day. There is no need for you to go to a big city to find something suitable. Everything is at your fingertips, including information.

But, there are some drawbacks. It is all too easy to become overwhelmed by that information. To the point where it can have a negative impact on how we feel and act. Health scare stories are a case in point. We need to know about potential health issues and what we can do to avoid them. Reading health-related stories can help us to do this. But, you need to take a balanced approach when reading them. The tips below are designed to help you to do that.

Don’t be misled by the headline

If you were to see the headline polio vaccine lung cancer, the chances are you would be worried. After all, you and your kids will almost certainly have had that vaccine. So, it would only be natural for you to find such a headline a little worrying.

Dig deeper to find out more

Yet, in reality, the chances of that vaccination having put you or anyone else at risk of developing lung cancer is virtually zero. If you click the link above, you will see that this potential issue only relates to the 98 to 100 million Americans who received the polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963. Even they should not be overly concerned. 

Not all batches of the vaccine were contaminated with the SV40 virus that can sometimes lead to lung cancer developing in rats. So, a relatively small number of those people will have received the SV40 contaminated vaccine. 

Plus, very few, if any, of them will have developed lung cancer as a result. Experts think that only between 10 and 30 people may be in this situation.

Always use trusted sources when you do more research

This perfectly demonstrates, why when it comes to medical risk stories, you always need to dig deeper. You should always read the story in full, especially if you are going to change what action you take when making health-related decisions for your family. 

In that situation, it is vital that you do even more research. Using trusted government or medical websites, like this one, will help you to uncover the facts and statistics behind the story.

Speak to a medical professional before making any final decision

Once you have a good grasp of the facts behind the headline, you will be better equipped to make a rational decision about what, if anything, you do about that particular health-related story. However, before you take any action, it is still wise to consult a medical professional. They, like you will have read the story, checked the facts and come to a conclusion. But, the training a medical professional has had means that they will have almost certainly gained a better understanding of the situation than you have. So, it makes sense to listen to their advice too.

If you would like to find out more about how alarmist health stories are put together and how to spot one, this article will likely be of interest to you. It is written by a UK based journalist, but the information it contains applies wherever you live in the world.

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