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News digest – prostate cancer family tree, pineapples, walnuts and more

by Nick Peel | Analysis

4 April 2015

1 comment 1 comment

  • An international team of scientists, including some of our own, tracked the genetic history of 10 prostate cancers, uncovering important clues about how the disease spreads. The Mail Online covered this, we blogged about the study and here’s a graphic that explains the findings.


  • There was widespread media coverage of a woman who claimed she had cured her cancer by “eating three PINEAPPLES a day”. But there’s no scientific evidence that eating pineapples, or large amounts of fruit, can cure cancer.
  • A specialist cancer nurse outlined what it’s like helping men with prostate cancer in this article from the Guardian.
  • A report we supported found that people over 60 are at higher risk of being diagnosed with lung or bowel cancer as an emergency in hospital than younger people. The Telegraph covered this, and here’s our press release.
  • Researchers found that alcohol, bodyweight and coffee can all affect the risk of developing liver cancer. However the mechanisms by which these all work are different, so headlines claiming coffee can undo the damage of alcohol are misleading. Drinking less alcohol and keeping to a healthy weight have both been shown to help cut the risk of several cancers, including breast and bowel cancer, but overall the evidence is less clear for coffee – so there isn’t any need to knock back the espressos.
  • Early stage research showed that a drug originally developed as a potential cancer treatment was able to improve memory symptoms linked to Alzheimer’s in mice. The Telegraph has more on this.
  • The Guardian reported on an advert that has been banned for implying that cancer patients who receive private healthcare have a greater chance of surviving their disease.
  • Vox took an in-depth look at promise and challenges of immunotherapy treatments.
  • A survey found that one in five UK teenagers questioned had tried an e-cigarette. Longer term use of the devices was lower, but as the BBC, Guardian, Mail Online and the Telegraph point out, experts are calling for more controls over their use.
  • NHS hospitals across Scotland became smoke-free this week. The Scotsman has more on this.

And finally

  • You would be forgiven for thinking this article about walnuts was an April Fool. But as we’ve said time and time again, eating any one specific food is unlikely to have a major impact on preventing cancer and so-called ‘superfoods’ don’t have any scientific backing. There’s more info about ‘superfoods’ on our website.




  • Iva
    26 June 2015

    Bromelain in pineapples has helped to break the outer surface of cancer cells so it can be attacked and die (apoptosis)


  • Iva
    26 June 2015

    Bromelain in pineapples has helped to break the outer surface of cancer cells so it can be attacked and die (apoptosis)