Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Blood test may lead to targeted therapy for prostate cancer

Friday May 5 2017

"A blood test has been developed that could help target treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer," BBC News reports. The test could help identify men unlikely to respond to drugs such as enzalutamide…

Cycling commuters have lower rates of heart disease and cancer

Friday Apr 21 2017

"Want to live longer? Reduce your risk of cancer? And heart disease? Then cycle to work," BBC News advises, prompted by a new study that found UK commuters who cycled to work had lower rates of cancer and heart disease…

Antibiotic use linked to 'pre-cancerous' bowel changes

Thursday Apr 6 2017

"Taking antibiotics for more than two weeks increases your risk of bowel cancer by 73 per cent," reports the Daily Mail. However, the study it reports on did not look at rates of bowel cancer. What it did find is an increased risk of bowel polyps…

Is bad luck the leading cause of cancer?

Monday Mar 27 2017

"Most cancers are caused by random mistakes in the genetic code when cells divide out of the blue, new research shows," the Daily Mail reports. But this is an oversimplification of research that…

The pill provides 'lifelong protection against some cancers'

Wednesday Mar 22 2017

"The pill can protect women from cancer for 30 years," is the front page headline in the Daily Mirror. The paper reports on a landmark study that followed more than 46,000 women in the UK for up to 44 years…

Overweight young men 'more likely to get severe liver disease'

Tuesday Mar 21 2017

"Men who are overweight in their late teens have a higher risk of developing liver cancer in later life, new research suggests," reports ITV News. Swedish researchers also found a link to other serious types of liver disease…

New breast cancer drugs could help more than previously thought

Wednesday Mar 15 2017

"Up to one in five women with breast cancer could benefit from a type of treatment currently only given to patients with a rare form of the disease," The Independent reports. Research suggests around 20% of women with breast cancer…

Mediterranean diet linked to lower risk of one type of breast cancer

Tuesday Mar 7 2017

"Eating a Mediterranean diet 'cuts deadly breast cancer risk by 40%' in postmenopausal women," says the Mail Online of a widely reported study carried out by researchers in the Netherlands...

Is red hair gene linked to increased risk of Parkinson's?

Monday Mar 6 2017

"Redheads are more likely to develop Parkinson's," claims the Mail Online after a study found the gene that makes people with red hair susceptible to skin cancer also increases the risk of brain disease...

Wide range of cancers now linked to being overweight

Wednesday Mar 1 2017

"Increased risk of 11 types of cancer linked to being overweight," The Guardian reports. A new review in the BMJ found strong evidence of a link between body weight and 11 types of cancer, most of them either digestive…

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