There’s been lots of coverage in the media today about improvements in cancer survival rates – statistics we released to help launch our new research strategy. The story made it onto the BBC, ITV, Sky, and Channel 4, and was covered in all the national papers, including the Telegraph, the Express, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and the Independent, as well as a range of local and online media.
Most of the coverage was spot on, putting the statistics in proper context. But, as many people on Twitter have pointed out, there was small but significant error made in a graphic in The Metro:
The graphic lists breastfeeding as one of a number of lifestyle risk factors ‘linked to cancer’. This is somewhat unfortunate – what the graphic should say is ‘not breastfeeding’ – a large amount of evidence suggests that breast cancers are less common among women who breastfeed for more than six months.
Whoops. This wasn’t entirely the fault of Metro, however – it was taken from some slightly ambiguous wording on our website, which we’ve now updated.
There’s more detail about breastfeeding and its protective effect against cancer here, and you can read a fuller discussion of the lifestyle risk factors linked to cancer here .