I received a report from a respected medical organization today. It lists 18 stories that are related to health. Half of them about political or payment issues. The remaining were about drugs or treatments. One word is common to every one of these.

  1. Babies born to obese mothers may be at increased risk for death during first year of life.
  2. Estrogen-only therapy may lower breast cancer, heart attack risk for some postmenopausal women.
  3. Patients taking high daily prescription painkiller doses may be at increased risk of death.
  4. Occlusion may be less likely with radial artery grafts in patients undergoing CABG.
  5. Secondhand smoke exposure may be linked to psychological problems in children, adolescents.
  6. Blood marker may predict Alzheimer’s disease severity level.
  7. Drug-resistance mutations may be associated with virologic failure in HIV patients.
  8. Extreme weight gain may increase survivors’ risk for breast cancer recurrence, death.
  9. Soy foods may prevent breast cancer recurrence, lessen mortality risk.

Notice the one word that is common to every headline? The word is MAY,  which is a passive,  ancillary verb used to “express possibility” or “to express a wish”. It is sometimes used in place of “might” and has a strong element of “maybe”. What does this tell you about the study or it’s findings? For me, this routine use of that word suggests more than merely reporting the possibility. I read the headlines with that word as an expression of a wish – to influence instead of reporting.

Does headline number 9 mean that someone WISHES toxic soy was good for us? More about SOY.