Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Fit middle-aged men have lower cancer risk

Friday Mar 27 2015

Fit middle-aged men have lower cancer risk

"Very fit men in their late 40s are less likely to get lung cancer and colorectal cancer than unfit men," says BBC News as it reports on a new US study…

News analysis: Angelina Jolie's surgery to 'cut ovarian cancer risk'

Tuesday Mar 24 2015

Angelina Jolie's surgery to 'cut ovarian cancer risk'

Writing in the New York Times, actress Angelina Jolie has announced that she has recently had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as tests showed she had an estimated 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer…

Does light at night pose a health risk?

Monday Mar 16 2015

Warning issued over potential health dangers of light at night

"Britons should fit blackout blinds and ban electronic gadgets from the bedroom to avert the risk of diseases such as cancer," the Mail Online warns…

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

Tuesday Mar 10 2015

A diet rich in veg and fish may reduce bowel cancer risk

"Becoming a pescetarian can protect against bowel cancer, new research suggests," the Mail Online reports. The US study found people who mainly eat fish and vegetables, and small quantities of meat, had a significantly reduced risk of bowel cancer…

Healthy older adults carry leukaemia mutations

Friday Feb 27 2015

Healthy older adult carry leukaemia mutations

"DNA develops to acquire genetic mutations linked with cancer as you get older," The Independent reports. A study of samples of blood cells found that DNA in older people began to acquire mutations associated with leukaemia…

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

Friday Feb 20 2015

New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

"New HPV vaccine stops 90% of cervical cancers," the Mail Online reports. The vaccine, which protects against nine common strains of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), has proved both safe and effective in a study involving 14,000 women…

Sunlight UV damage to skin persists even after dark

Friday Feb 20 2015

Sunlight UV damage to skin persists even in the dark

"Moving immediately into the shade does not stop sun damage, as UV rays can continue damaging skin cells hours after exposure," The Guardian reports. A study has found evidence that damage to DNA can continue after initial exposure…

Plain packaging 'may help smokers to cut down'

Tuesday Feb 17 2015

Plain packaging 'may help smokers smoke less'

"Plain packaging reduced unconscious triggers to smoke," BBC News reports. This claim is based on two related experiments where smokers were either exposed to a picture of a branded pack of cigarettes, a picture of a plain pack...

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

Friday Feb 13 2015

HRT increases ovarian cancer risk by small amount

"Hormone replacement therapy increases ovarian cancer risk," BBC News reports. An analysis of previous data, published in The Lancet, found a statistically significant increase, though the increase in risk for individual women is very small…

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

Thursday Feb 5 2015

E-cigarettes may make lungs vulnerable to infection

"Vaping may not be as safe as smokers think, research suggests," The Guardian reports. New research found that mice exposed to e-cig vapours comparable to a typical human level experienced mild lung damage and a reduced immune response to infection…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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