Here’s a good post by science writer Merrill Goozner on a new, possibly unworthy early screening test for prostate cancer. In taking down a celebratory front-page article last week in The NY Times by Gina Kolata, Goozner notes that there are already problems with the existing biomarker screen, the , or prostate specific antigen—which Kolata herself noted in 2004. He asks whether our healthcare system really needs a new expensive diagnostic with questionable efficacy for a disease that affects many old men but isn’t always the main factor in their death. Kolata is notoriously trigger-happy with Big Medical News. You can’t help but admire her tenaciousness and energy, and she is usually right, but Kolata has a tendency to oversell stories of medical breakthroughs. She’s not alone, of course. Breakthroughitis is a chronic ailment of us medical writers. It’s hard to write breaking medical news because the latest publication, even in high-status journals like the Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, and the Lancet, are rarely conclusive. Most studies about drugs and diseases provide only a piece of the evidence. Convincing statements on the cause and treatment of disease are usually the result of decades of research and consensus.