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  • Our researchers found that people who dismiss symptoms as trivial, or worry about wasting the doctor’s time, may decide against going to their GP with red-flag cancer warning symptoms. The Telegraph and the Mail Online were among the many media outlets to cover the study.
  • People with persistent heartburn are being urged to visit their GP as it may be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancers, according to a new campaign by Public Health England. The BBC covered this.
  • US scientists found that an experimental biopsy procedure appears to be more effective than the current tests in identifying ‘high-risk’ prostate cancers.
  • Thought-provoking discussions around end-of-life care continued this week with this article in the Guardian.
  • A fascinating US study has pinpointed genetic errors that mark out head and neck cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Pregnant women who smoke seem to be more likely to quit when offered a financial incentive, research published in the BMJ suggests. The Guardian and the BBC covered this and the NHS Choices website weighed in with this take too.
  • The challenge of getting new cancer drugs to patients faster featured in discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos – the Financial Times explores.
  • New Europe-wide cancer stats suggested that lung cancer deaths are set to overtake breast cancer deaths among European women in 2015 – something that’s already the case in the UK. The Guardian has more on this one, as does NHS Choices.
  • Certain older women with breast cancer could safely avoid radiotherapy without harming their chances of survival, reports the Mail Online.
  • This fascinating article from the New York Times explores how tumour cells rely on each other, and how this could be exploited as a weakness.
  • The Institute of Cancer Research blog took a personal look at the Rare Cancers Initiative.
  • Cases of cervical cancer are on the increase, according to figures from the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust released for cervical cancer awareness week.
  • The American Association for Cancer Research quizzed some experts on their predictions for what 2015 holds for cancer research.
  • There was more coverage of Google’s work looking to develop new ways of detecting cancer – something we’ve blogged about before.
  • This BBC report looked at the potential power of a ‘gene editing’ method called CRISPR that could help scientists develop cancer drugs in the future.
  • Antibiotics to cure cancer”? This heart-warming story of an eight year-old girl giving her scientist dad an idea for a research project was widely covered this week. But there’s no indication from the underlying science that the antibiotics in question would work in patients, nor what sort of side effects there might be – so you should read this blog post from Breakthrough Breast Cancer (who funded the study) exploring the details of what the researchers did – and didn’t – find.
  • And in another example of getting ahead of what the science says, it’s unlikely that: “A cup of tea could hold the key to cancer cure,” as the study only looked at whether a purified chemical from green tea can kill cancer cells grown in a lab, not in patients.
  • (It’s always worth remembering this cartoon when you read such headlines…)

And finally

  • In what may sound like a pointless endeavour, US and Australian scientists successfully unboiled an egg this week. But it’s no yolk, the technique they’ve developed could be useful for cancer researchers too.