Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

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...

Gene editing breakthrough in treating baby’s leukaemia

Friday Nov 6 2015

"Baby girl is first in the world to be treated with 'designer immune cells'," The Guardian reports. Pioneering work carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital made use of a novel technique known as genome editing…

Blood test could help improve prostate cancer outcomes

Thursday Nov 5 2015

"A blood test can determine whether prostate cancer patients are likely to respond to drugs," BBC News reports. The test assesses whether men with prostate cancer have a good chance, or not, of responding well to a drug called abiraterone…

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