Stories About Breast Cancer in Australian Women's Magazines: Information Sources For Risk, Early Detection And Treatment.

Document Type

Journal Article


Computing, Health and Science


Nursing and Public Health




This article was originally published as: Wilkes, L., Withnall, J., Harris, R., White, K., Beale, B., Hobson, J., & Kristjanson, L. (2001). Stories about breast cancer in Australian women's magazines: information sources for risk, early detection and treatment. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 5(2), 80-88. Original article available here


Sixty articles in five Australian women's magazines were analyzed for journalistic qualities, metaphors, narrative features and accuracy of clinical facts related to risk, early detection and treatment of breast cancer. The stories were features, news features or soft news stories. The stories reflected the 'good news' editorial style of women's magazines. A dominant theme in the stories was that early detection of breast cancer is crucial and equals survival. While there were few inaccuracies in the stories, there was little detail of treatment modalities, an emphasis on lifestyle as a risk factor and a prevailing message that a genetic history of breast cancer means you will get it. A major implication of the findings is that nurses, who provide information to women, must be aware of the goals of journalists and the educational power of narrative logic of stories in women's magazines.




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