Melanoma cure–where’s the news coverage?

A cure for the deadliest form of skin cancer is in the works, but you’d never know it if you don’t read the Israeli press. That is totally baffling. Where are the world headlines?

Tel Aviv University researchers say they have found the key to blocking the spread of melanoma, according to this news release. It was put out A MONTH AGO. Just now, the Israeli press started picking up on it, with this story in Haaretz, this one in The Times of Israel and this one in The Jerusalem Post. There are others.

BREAKING NEWS: Agence France Presse is the first foreign outlet to write about this. Here it is in the Daily Mail. Ten hours after I asked, still no response from The Associated Press or Reuters.

It’s a full day later, and now there’s this on Yahoo News by a well-known writer on health issues. Still nothing on the AP or Reuters wires, and no response to my query. I guess the possibility of beating one of the most dangerous diseases in the world isn’t that important to them.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Caught early enough, it can be treated. But if left to metastasize through the body, it is often fatal. It’s estimated here that 75,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma cancer this year, and  10,000 could die. Israel claims an 85 percent cure rate for melanoma, but that’s attributable to early detection and Israel’s health care system, which provides medical access to all its citizens. While there are treatments, up to now there’s been no cure for metastatic melanoma. If this is a step toward a cure for melanoma, it’s A HUGE DEVELOPMENT.

I know all the hoops that responsible news outlets have to jump through to report on medical claims like this. They require an outside expert, not connected to the research, to comment. The science desk might have to weigh in.

But that is done, and stories are written, about developments that are nowhere near as significant as this one. So I ask again: Where’s the coverage?

I honestly have no idea what the answer to my question is. I imagine this post will attract a string of people who are convinced that the reason is the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic foreign press, or the fact that the story has no Palestinian angle. I don’t think so. It’s more likely that this amazing story slipped through their fingers because of downsizing and understaffing, as has happened in the past. I’ll ask around, and I’ll post any responses I get here.

In the meantime, though, it’s important to note that there are things to be said about Israel that have nothing to do with Palestinians, Gaza, rockets, terrorism or settlements. When explaining what Israel is and what it isn’t, we need to keep our eyes open for such stories..

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