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Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Five-year 'death test' for older adults launched online

"Are you dying to know? Scientists develop death test to predict if you'll make it to 2020," The Daily Telegraph reports. The test is based on analysis of data collected from the UK Biobank…

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

Thursday Jun 4 2015

Breast cancer screening 'cuts deaths by 40%' expert panel says

"Women who undergo breast cancer screening cut their risk of dying from the disease by 40%, according to a global panel of experts," The Guardian reports. However, critics of screening say they have under-estimated the scale of overdiagnosis…

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

Monday Jun 1 2015

Immunotherapy drug combo could combat melanoma

"New era in the war on cancer," is the over-hyped headline on the front of the Daily Mail. The new era refers to a trial looking at whether a combination of immunotherapy drugs could help with advanced melanoma skin cancer…

New discovery about how breast cancer spreads into bones

Thursday May 28 2015

New discovery about how breast cancer spreads into bones

"Certain breast cancers spread to the bones using an enzyme that drills 'seed holes' for planting new tumours, research has shown," The Guardian reports. The hope is drugs currently available…

Modified herpes virus 'could combat skin cancer'

Wednesday May 27 2015

Modified herpes virus 'could combat skin cancer'

"Patients with aggressive skin cancer have been treated successfully using a drug based on the herpes virus," The Guardian reports. A new study suggests a novel form of immunotherapy could be effective for treating some cases of advanced skin cancer...

Obesity in teen boys may increase bowel cancer risk in later life

Tuesday May 26 2015

Obesity in teen boys may increase bowel cancer risk in later life

"Teenage boys who become very obese may double their risk of getting bowel cancer by the time they are in their 50s," The Guardian reports. A Swedish study found a strong association between teenage obesity and bowel cancer risk in later adulthood…

Quarter of sun-exposed skin samples had DNA mutations

Friday May 22 2015

Quarter of sun-exposed skin samples had DNA mutations

A sobering BBC News headline greets sun worshippers on the eve of the spring bank holiday: "More than a quarter of a middle-aged person's skin may have already made the first steps towards cancer"…

Links between hay fever, asthma and prostate cancer inconclusive

Wednesday May 20 2015

Hay fever ups prostate cancer risk but asthma boosts survival rates

"Men with hay fever are more likely to have prostate cancer – but those with asthma are more likely to survive it," the Daily Mirror reports. Those were the puzzling and largely inconclusive findings of a new study looking at these three conditions...

Hormone oestrogen linked to male breast cancer

Tuesday May 12 2015

Hormone oestrogen linked to male breast cancer

"Men with naturally high levels of the female hormone oestrogen are at greater risk of male breast cancer," The Daily Telegraph reports. Men with high levels of the hormone were significantly more likely to develop this rare form of breast cancer…

New test could improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Tuesday May 5 2015

New ovarian cancer screening technique 'twice as effective'

"New ovarian cancer test twice as effective as existing methods," The Guardian reports, after new research proved relatively successful in diagnosing ovarian cancer. This study hasn't identified a new blood test for…

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