Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

New NICE guidelines on sun exposure warn 'tanning is unsafe'

Wednesday Feb 10 2016

"No safe way to suntan, new NICE guidance warns," BBC News reports. Though the guidelines also stress the benefits of moderate sun exposure to prevent vitamin D deficiency; which is more common in the UK than many people realise…

Hope that blood test 'could diagnose five types of cancer'

Monday Feb 8 2016

"A new blood test that detects five different forms of cancer is one step closer to becoming a reality and could save millions of lives around the world," the Mail Online reports. The test looks for abnormal changes…

Young women with high-fibre diet may have lower breast cancer risk

Tuesday Feb 2 2016

"Teenage girls who get their five-a-day cut breast cancer risk by up to 25 per cent," the Daily Mirror reports. A US study suggests that a high-fibre diet based on eating plenty of fruit and vegetables reduces the risk of breast cancer in later life…

Proton beam therapy 'effective' and 'causes fewer side effects'

Monday Feb 1 2016

"Proton beam cancer therapy 'effective with fewer side effects'," BBC News reports. A US study found the technique caused fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy…

New genetic risk factor for ovarian cancer identified

Thursday Jan 21 2016

"A faulty gene has been identified that increases the risk of ovarian cancer more than threefold," The Independent reports. The genetic mutation, found in the BRIP1 gene, adds to the known genetic warning signs for ovarian cancer…

Researchers investigate why obesity can trigger bowel cancer

Tuesday Jan 19 2016

"Excess calories 'turn off a hormone in the intestine that blocks colon cancer'," the Mail Online reports. Obesity is a known risk factor for bowel cancer (colorectal cancer). There is evidence that a diet rich in processed meats…

Are ads for candy-flavoured e-cigs tempting teens to vape?

Monday Jan 18 2016

"Advertisements for … flavoured e-cigarettes could encourage children to try vaping," ITV News reports after a study found children shown these ads were more likely to express an interest in trying flavoured e-cigs…

Arthritis drug could also help combat ovarian cancer

Monday Jan 11 2016

"A rheumatoid arthritis drug can kill off ovarian cancer cells in women with the BRCA1 mutation," the Mail Online reports. The drug, auranofin, was found to be effective against ovarian cancer cells associated with the BRCA1 mutation…

Do high doses of vitamin D increase falls risk in the elderly?

Wednesday Jan 6 2016

"Giving pensioners high doses of vitamin D to strengthen their leg bones may put them at higher risk of a fall," The Times reports, after a Swiss study suggested high doses of the supplement offer no benefits, but do increase the risk of falling…

Do potatoes reduce stomach cancer risk?

Tuesday Dec 1 2015

"Eating lots of potatoes will reduce your risk of getting stomach cancer," according to enthusiastic media reports that seized on the UK's love affair with the spud...

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