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News digest – obesity, the contraceptive pill, breast cancer rates and cancer in Kenya

by Gabriella Beer | Analysis

29 September 2018

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Aspirin tablets

Obesity could cause more cancers in women than smoking by 2043

Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in women, reports the BBC. Our figures show that if current trends continue, by 2035 around 9% of cancers in women will be linked to obesity and around 10% will be linked to smoking. The two causes of cancer could then switch places as soon as 2043, according to our calculations. Read our blog post to find out how we made these projections. Read our blog post to find out how we made these projections.

Drug prevents pancreatic cancer becoming resistant to treatment in mice

The Mail Online covered research in mice that tests a new pancreatic cancer drug. The study was looking at whether the experimental treatment could stop pancreatic cancer becoming resistant to treatment.

Study confirms combined pill reduces ovarian cancer risk

A new study added to the evidence that the combined contraceptive pill can reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Earlier studies had looked at older types of the pill that contained higher levels of oestrogen, but this study showed reduced risk in newer types too. The Guardian covered the study that looked at 1.9 million women who were aged 15-49 between 1995 and 2014. The risk of other types of cancer can be affected by taking The Pill, so if you’re thinking about starting or stopping, speak to your doctor.

Brexit’s impact on research

Nature looks at how scientists are preparing for life after the UK leaves the European Union, and how it will affect their research.

Aspirin could boost cancer survival

Cancer patients could have a greater chance of surviving their disease if they take a small daily dose of aspirin, reports The Telegraph. The report reviewed results from lots of other studies and showed that the over-the-counter drug may also slow the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. The results need confirming in a clinical trial, and as our head information nurse said: “Aspirin isn’t suitable for everyone and can have serious side effects, like internal bleeding, so it’s important to speak to your doctor if you are considering taking aspirin as part of your treatment”.

Tobacco display ban leads to fall in kids buying cigarettes

The Guardian says thanks to the ban on displaying tobacco in shops, the number of children buying cigarettes in England has fallen. Before the ban in 2015, 57 out of 100 children who regularly smoked got their cigarettes from shops. By 2016, this fell to 40 in 100 children.

Low calories drinks could help obese people lose weight

Researchers in Oxford are suggesting people who are obese should be given low calories shakes to help them lose weight. The BBC says that the drinks that are used to replace meals, which are currently available privately, are now being considered for use on the NHS.

How people still help us beat cancer even after death

One of our colleagues wrote this moving piece for the Guardian about his fiancée who died of bladder cancer two years ago but is helping us beat cancer through research. Read our press release for the details of the study she donated samples to or watch the video below.

Breast cancer deaths could start to rise by 2022

A report by Breast Cancer Now claims that the number of breast cancer deaths, though currently decreasing, will start to increase by 2022. Breast cancer survival continues to improve, and the projected increase is largely due to people living longer. The report, covered in the Independent, also highlights that the care and treatment a patient receives when they’re diagnosed with breast cancer can vary depending on where they live.

And finally

Mosaic covered our Grand Challenge project that’s looking into why the rates of certain cancers vary widely across the world. Finding out more about people’s lifestyles across the globe could reveal less obvious preventable causes of cancer and help us learn more about the disease. Follow our immersive story to find out about the work our patient representatives are doing in Kenya.