Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

There may be four distinct types of bowel cancer

Wednesday Oct 14 2015

"Bowel cancer is four distinct diseases, each with a different prognosis," BBC News reports after new research suggests there are four genetic sub-types of bowel cancer. It's hoped adapting treatment to each type will lead to better outcomes…

Why elephants hardly ever get cancer and how that can help us

Friday Oct 9 2015

"Elephants have enhanced defences against cancer that can prevent tumours forming," BBC News reports. Just 1 in 20 elephants die of cancer, compared with around 1 in 5 humans. Researchers wanted to see why this is…

Frozen ovarian transplants 'safe and effective'

Wednesday Oct 7 2015

"Ovarian tissue transplants for women who want to have a baby after cancer treatment appear to be safe and are very successful," The Guardian reports after a small Danish study found the technique has around a 1 in 3 pregnancy success rate…

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…

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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