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News digest: treatment-targets, missed prostate cancer and obesity liquid hand soap and more

by Henry Scowcroft | Analysis

29 November 2014

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  • In another big week for research on the immune system and cancer, the journal Nature published five separate papers on the subject. And one of those papers looking at bladder cancer caught the eye of the BBC, Mail Online and the Telegraph.
  • New estimates revealed that almost half a million new cancer cases worldwide in adults each year are linked to excess bodyweight. We covered this, and here’s the Mail Online and the Telegraph’s take on the findings.
  • Continuing with statistics, a new study found that, although things are improving, the UK cancer survival still lags behind the best in the world – particularly for lung cancer. The Guardian has more.
  • And in even more stats news, smoking rates in Britain have more than halved in the last 40 years. The Mail Online had this take.
  • US researchers discovered that the presence of particular genetic faults in the DNA of blood cells may be an indicator for the development of blood cancers later in life. TIME has more on this.
  • The BBC took a graphic look at the changing face of Australian cigarette packing.
  • This piece in the Independent, by GP Margaret McCartney, discussed the importance of end-of-life care.
  • The Mail Online covered a new trial looking to test an advanced imaging technique that could help diagnose prostate cancer.
  • This article in The Conversation debunks the hype around research on cannabis and cancer.
  • This overhyped article appeared in the Telegraph following some interesting early research looking to develop a ‘breath test’ for lung cancer. It’s still too early to say if this could be used to diagnose people earlier.

And finally

New research sparked a couple of news reports on the perceived health benefits of the 5:2 diet and claims it could prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. But the study actually found there’s not enough evidence to reach make those conclusions. Read this NHS Choices article for a more balanced analysis.