Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Breath test shows potential for detecting cancer

Monday Jan 30 2017

"Breath test could save lives by diagnosing deadly cancers earlier," reports The Daily Telegraph. The story is based on new research into whether it is possible to detect cancers of the stomach and oesophagus (gullet) using a breath test...

Anxiety and depression linked to increased cancer death risk

Thursday Jan 26 2017

"Depression linked to higher chance of dying from cancer," The Independent reports. Analysis of UK data found a link between mental distress and cancer mortality, which remained even after other factors such as smoking were taken into account…

New drug treatment for pancreatic cancer 'extends survival'

Wednesday Jan 25 2017

"Trial finds combination of pancreatic cancer drugs extends survival," The Guardian reports. The results of a trial that combined the use of two chemotherapy drugs has led to calls for this approach to become the…

New insights into why breast cancer drugs fail for some women

Tuesday Jan 24 2017

"Breast cancer drugs taken by thousands of women stop working because tumours 'outsmart' them," is the headline in The Sun. Around 70% of breast cancer cases are what are known as oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancers…

Warning over 'burnt toast chemical' acrylamide’s cancer risk

Monday Jan 23 2017

"Browned toast and potatoes are 'potential cancer risk', say food scientists," BBC News reports. The FSA has launched a campaign about the possible health risk of acrylamide; a chemical formed when starchy foods are subjected to a high temperature…

MRI scans could spare 25% of men from prostate biopsies

Friday Jan 20 2017

"Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan," The Guardian reports. That is the conclusion of a study looking at how well MRI scans compare with the current practice of biopsies; removing sections of prostate tissue for analysis...

Urine test could reveal if your diet is a threat to your health

Friday Jan 13 2017

"A urine test that can reveal how healthy your meals are has been developed by UK scientists," BBC News reports. Researchers wanted to see if they could help crack one of the biggest problems confronting people trying to carry out studies…

Weekend-only workouts 'still give an important health boost'

Tuesday Jan 10 2017

"Weekend warriors, take a victory lap. People who pack their workouts into one or two sessions a week lower their risk of dying over roughly the next decade nearly as much as people who exercise more often," the Mail Online reports…

New laser therapy for low-risk prostate cancer shows promise

Tuesday Dec 20 2016

"A drug activated by laser light successfully destroys early prostate cancer while avoiding side effects … results have shown," The Guardian reports. This new technique may offer an alternative treatment to the current "wait and see" approach…

Handful of nuts 'cuts heart disease and cancer' risk

Monday Dec 5 2016

"People consuming at least 20 grams of nuts daily less likely to develop potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease and cancer," The Independent reports. That was the main finding of a review looking at 20 previous studies on the benefits of nuts…

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