Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Too soon to say being tall increases cancer risk

Friday Oct 2 2015

"Higher risk of cancer if you are tall," says the Daily Mirror. Most media outlets provided a similar spin on the seemingly big news that the risk of developing cancer increases with every 10cm of height...

Too soon for 'aspirin doubles cancer survival' claim

Monday Sep 28 2015

"Aspirin could almost double your chance of surviving cancer," the Daily Mail reports, with most of the newspapers featuring similar claims...

UK women's life expectancy 'second worst' in Western Europe

Wednesday Sep 23 2015

"British women have second worst life expectancy in Europe," The Guardian reports. This is one of the findings of a Europe-wide health report carried out by the World Health Organization…

Study finds North-South divide in UK life expectancy

Tuesday Sep 15 2015

"England's richest people 'live eight years longer than the country's poorest'," The Independent reports. A major new study has found a significant difference in life expectancy of the richer South East England compared to the poorer North…

Tiny 'cancer trap' could stop cancer spread

Wednesday Sep 9 2015

"A small sponge-like implant that can mop up cancer cells as they move through the body has been developed," BBC News reports. The implant has only been used in mice, but it could be used in humans to detect and warn about spreading cancer cells...

No conclusive evidence that e-cigs tempt teens to smoke

Wednesday Sep 9 2015

"Young people who try e-cigarettes are much more likely to start smoking, scientists have concluded," The Daily Telegraph reports. Though the conclusion, such as it is, is based on just 16 teenagers...

Radiotherapy - does it really do more harm than good?

Tuesday Sep 8 2015

"Could radiotherapy do more harm than good in some patients?" the Daily Mail asks. The question is prompted by a new study looking at whether radiotherapy could weaken the immune system, leading to the spread of skin cancer cells…

Is incense smoke more dangerous than tobacco smoke?

Wednesday Aug 26 2015

"Incense may need a health warning over 'toxic' smoke, claims research," The Daily Telegraph reports. Analysis of incense smoke, used in both western and Asian religious ceremonies for possibly thousands of years, found it contains many chemicals...

Just one drink a day 'may raise breast cancer risk'

Thursday Aug 20 2015

"Just one drink a day raises breast cancer risk" is the front page headline in the Daily Mail following the results of a new study. While the health risks of heavy drinking are well established, the effects of light drinking are less clear…

Aspirin lowers risk of hereditary bowel cancer in obese people

Tuesday Aug 18 2015

"A daily aspirin may slash bowel cancer risk for the obese," the Daily Mail reports. But the headline fails to make it clear that this latest research didn't involve people in the general public who were obese…

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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