Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Combined HRT breast cancer risk 'may have been underestimated'

Tuesday Aug 23 2016

"Women who take a common form of HRT are nearly three times as likely to get breast cancer, a major study has found," the Daily Mail reports. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment used to relieve symptoms of the…

Gene scanning 'could improve screening for oesophageal cancer'

Monday Aug 22 2016

"Simple test can now reveal which heartburn patients are at risk of oesophageal cancer," is the hopeful headline in the Daily Mail, reporting on a new study from researchers at Queen Mary University of London…

Women's cancer risk may increase the longer they're obese

Wednesday Aug 17 2016

"Fat women who refuse to diet 'are more likely to get cancer'," states the Mail Online, using a headline that is both inaccurate and offensive. The study it reports on looked at the relationship between weight during adulthood, and cancer risk…

UK heart disease and stroke death rates now lower than cancer

Monday Aug 15 2016

"Heart disease deaths now lower than cancer – but obesity crisis means this may not last," the Daily Mirror reports. A major review of European trends in cardiovascular disease deaths found that UK cancer deaths overtook cardiovascular deaths in 2014…

Vaginal douching 'linked to increased ovarian cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 4 2016

"Women who douche are almost twice as likely to get ovarian cancer," Metro reports after a study of more than 40,000 women from the US and Puerto Rico found a significant link…

Smokers who try to quit 'drink less alcohol', too

Monday Jul 25 2016

"How quitting smoking can be good for your liver: Those who have given up cigarettes 'drink less alcohol too'," the Mail Online reports. The news follows an analysis of two ongoing studies that aimed to…

Alcohol 'a direct cause of seven types of cancer'

Friday Jul 22 2016

"Even one glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer: Alarming study reveals booze is linked to at least seven forms of the disease," reports the Mail Online. The news comes from a review that aimed to summarise data from a range of previous studies...

Eating oily fish 'may boost bowel cancer survival'

Friday Jul 22 2016

"Oily fish may reduce risk of death from bowel cancer, study suggests," reports The Telegraph. US research found people with bowel cancer who increased their intake of oily fish after diagnosis were less likely to die from the condition...

'Secret ginger gene' may increase skin cancer risk for millions

Wednesday Jul 13 2016

"People can carry a 'silent' red hair gene that raises their risk of sun-related skin cancer, experts warn," BBC News reports. Research suggests that carrying just one copy of a variant of the MC1R gene (having two copies causes red hair) increases…

1 in 8 advanced prostate cancers may be linked to faulty genes

Friday Jul 8 2016

"Nearly one in eight men who develop [advanced] prostate cancer carry mutations in genes which repair damage to DNA," The Daily Telegraph reports. One of the difficulties in detecting and treating prostate cancer…

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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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