Cancer and mental health lead press ratings chart

Cancer, mental health and cardiovascular health have retained the top three positions in PRWeek’s Health Watch, the bimonthly survey of health topics covered by magazines and newspapers in the UK.

However, coverage of the three issues has dropped slightly over the past two months.

Of the 3,098 pieces that ref­erred to cancer during July and August, the majority were about breast cancer. These pieces were twice as frequent as articles about lung cancer.

Stories referred to cancer risks, such as alcohol and cholesterol drugs (Telegraph), obesity (The Guardian) and a European screening study that found that frequent screening for prostate cancer does not improve the detection of aggressive tumours (The Independent). Preventive measures, inc­luding eating dark green vegetables (Telegraph) and a US survey suggesting that ten minutes of sunshine ‘could stop 30,000 cases of cancer’ (Daily Mail) also featured prominently.

’Flu and HIV were the most mentioned subjects in the immunology/anti-virals category, which remains in fourth pos­ition.

Health stories about sex­ual issues have leapfrogged those concerning diabetes in the UK print media over the past two months, to take fifth position.

A number of articles foc­used on young teenagers, such as The Daily Telegraph’s report that the morning-after pill is available to girls as young as 11.

Meanwhile, the volume of smoking-related stories has dipped sharply in the past two months, suggesting that coverage of smoking peaked in the run-up to the 1 July ban.


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