Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Receptionists 'putting people off' seeing their GPs

Wednesday Oct 12 2016

"Receptionists may 'put people off' seeing their GP by asking questions about symptoms," ITV News reports on a widely covered study carried out by Cancer Research UK. The study is part of an ongoing project…

'No link' between night shifts and breast cancer risk

Friday Oct 7 2016

"Working night shifts has 'little or no effect' on a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, new research suggests," BBC News reports. This was the reassuring finding of a new study looking at data from 10 different countries…

Cervical screening every 10 years for healthy women is 'safe'

Thursday Oct 6 2016

"Cervical cancer: gap between screenings 'can be increased to 10 years'," The Guardian reports. A Dutch study suggests women who test negative for the human papilloma virus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer…

Women dying needlessly due to not attending cervical screening

Friday Sep 16 2016

"The lives of hundreds more cervical cancer patients could be saved if all those eligible went for screening," BBC News reports. An analysis estimates an additional 347 deaths per year in England could be prevented if all eligible women…

Invasive early prostate cancer treatments not always needed

Thursday Sep 15 2016

"Closely monitoring prostate cancer offers just as good a chance of survival as harsh and invasive treatments," The Daily Telegraph reports. Researchers found invasive treatments for early stage prostate cancer, such as surgery…

E-cigarettes 'help thousands successfully quit smoking'

Wednesday Sep 14 2016

"The rise in popularity of e-cigarettes in the UK may have resulted in more successful attempts to quit smoking," BBC News reports. A UK study looking at survey data from England over the past 10 years showed…

Can exercise offset some of the harms of regular drinking?

Thursday Sep 8 2016

"Adults who booze regularly but exercise for five hours a week are no more likely to die than teetotallers," the Mail Online reports. A study suggests exercise may compensate for some, but certainly not all, of the harms associated with excessive alcohol…

Radiotherapy 'provides no benefit for secondary brain tumours'

Monday Sep 5 2016

"'Whole brain radiotherapy' is of no benefit to people with lung cancer which has spread to the brain," BBC News reports. A UK study found radiotherapy did not significantly increase survival times and quality of life when compared with standard care…

Excess body fat now linked to 13 different types of cancer

Thursday Aug 25 2016

"Experts have linked eight more cancers to being overweight or obese, nearly tripling the list from five to 13," the Daily Mail reports. This is the latest finding of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)…

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…

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