- Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, after she learnt she carried the BRCA1 gene, resulted in blanket coverage across the media this week. You can read about her reasons for undergoing the surgery in this courageous New York Times piece. We also answered some of the frequently asked questions about inherited breast cancer risk and the BRCA1 gene.
- We spotted several excellent comment pieces in response to Ms Jolie’s news. She’d “done something extraordinary”, according to Hadley Freeman in the Guardian, a sentiment broadly echoed by Lisa Markwell in the Independent, who has had breast cancer herself.
- The Guardian’s data blog took a look at the bigger picture of breast cancer worldwide.
- We also published this moving article about a personal experience of being told you have the BRCA1 gene.
- Experts – including Cancer Research UK’s Professor Diana Eccles – warned that demand for breast cancer gene tests could cause problems for the NHS.
- Why do individual stories like Angelia Jolie’s always have a greater impact on attitudes and behaviours than cold, hard stats? This fascinating Scientific American article explores the power of the personal over the impersonal.
- With the Government’s Spending Review due in June, people have started campaigning for the UK’s science budget to be protected. The Guardian’s bloggers had a look at a new report from the Royal Society of Chemistry, while we covered a related meeting in Parliament.
- The science budget was also the focus of a letter to The Times, covered here by the Association of Medical Research Charities. Our CEO is a signatory.
- Scientists identified four new genetic variants associated with an increased risk of testicular cancer. OnMedica have more detail.
- This BBC article about NHS dental charges and “the hidden cost of mouth cancer” caught our eye.
- The Health Research Authority – which aims to protect and promote the interests of patients and the public in health research – outlined its plans to ensure that clinical trial findings are published. Pharma Times have more detail, and the AMRC blog had a good take on it too.
- A new drug for advanced prostate cancer, alpharadin became available in the US – we hope it will arrive on these shores in due course. Fierce Biotech looked at the announcement and the context.
- People with skin cancer may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, according to research published on Wednesday. Of course, the results do not mean that people should stop taking measures to avoid skin cancer. The Alzheimer’s Society covered the research.
- Plans to relax the smoking ban in Wales so actors can light up on film and TV sets have been dropped, say the BBC.
- More than half of Britons do not use enough sunscreen, according to the Daily Mail.
- NHS Choices had a balanced take on headlines about redheads and skin cancer.
- Monitoring lactate within tumours using high-tech scans could tell doctors whether or not cancer drugs are working, according to research at our imaging centre at The Institute of Cancer Research. More info here.
- Cancer patients are “being neglected” in hospital, according to a survey by Macmillan Cancer Support. The Guardian has more info.
- We loved this BBC video about diseases under the microscope.
- We spotted this, ahem, interesting testicular cancer awareness campaign from Brazil… it couldn’t happen here (or could it?). Here’s our information about the symptoms of the disease.
Stacy May 19, 2013
I think it’s a very brave thing to do for Angelina. She loves her family so much that she wants to do everything that it takes to prevent her from having cancer. Personally, might I have the same option of doing it, if it can be beneficial in the long run then I will go for it!