Seth Mnookin in Slate:
A decade ago, when I was on the national desk at Newsweek, a handful of us would spend slow nights competing to see who could come closest to writing the Platonic ideal of a perfect coverline.
The game only had one real guideline: The headlines had to be vaguely rooted in reality.
That’s a journalistic precept that Time feels free to ignore. Witness the headline emblazoned in all-caps on the cover of the magazine’s April 1 issue: “HOW TO CURE CANCER.” It’s followed by an asterisk that directs you to a subtitle, just to make sure you get the point: “Yes, it’s now possible, thanks to new cancer dream teams that are delivering better results faster.”
Which, of course, is completely, utterly, inarguably false. The roughly 580,000 Americans who will die this year from cancer know the reality all too well. For some context, that’s more people than will die from chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes combined.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been major advances in treating some types of cancer, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children, testicular cancer in men, andearly-stage breast cancer in women. On the whole, however, our ability to treat solid tumors in late-stage disease remains, in the words of Nita Maihle, the director of Yale’s Biology of Reproductive Tract Cancers Program, “abysmal.”