Skip to main content

Together we are beating cancer

Donate now
  • Science & Technology
  • Health & Medicine

News digest – oesophageal cancer, cervical screening, naked mole rats and more

by Oliver Childs | Analysis

22 June 2013

0 comments 0 comments

  • The biggest story this week was about the “quiet epidemic” of oesophageal cancer and the fact that men are nearly three times more likely to develop the disease. The BBC and the Independent have more info, and this graphic summarises the story:

  • Testing women for the human papillomavirus (HPV) first, instead of using the traditional cervical screening test to detect abnormal cells in the cervix, could prevent around 600 cases of cervical cancer a year in England. Our press release has more detail.
  • A curious rodent called the naked mole rat hit the headlines this week – US scientists uncovered a clue as to why these creatures stay cancer free. The BBC wrote about the fascinating research, and we covered it on this blog.
  • Scientists in London uncovered clues about what causes cancer to spread from one part of the body to another. They used a ‘chase and run’ analogy to explain how diseased and healthy cells follow each other around the body. The Telegraph has more detail.
  • New Scientist wrote a great piece about research to understand how the genetic make-up of tumours evolves over time and in response to treatment (paywall).
  • For those interested in the new NHS reforms, we thought this was an interesting analysis of the challenges faced by our healthcare system: ‘can England’s NHS survive’?
  • Early UK research showed that giving men an MRI scan before a biopsy for prostate cancer may put clinicians in a better position to tailor investigations and treatments further down the line. The Telegraph chose this rather negative interpretation of the study. But further research is necessary before we know the true value of this method.

And finally

  • We wanted to reassure any pregnant women who read this Express headline that they shouldn’t be concerned about drinking from plastic bottles. The research hasn’t yet been published in a scientific journal, and was carried out in animal models – so the effects in women is far from established.