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Gage Skidmore via flickr CC-BY-2.0

  • In a 90s Sci-Fi movie/research crossover, our scientists found a new way to potentially stop healthy cells from helping cancer cells to spread through the matrix. Here’s the press release, and we blogged about the findings.
  • An analysis of data from 10 million patients across Europe found that, between 1995 up to 2007, cancer survival figures improved across the continent. Here’s our news report, and the Telegraph’s take.
  • Two new kidney cancer drugs ‘work’ and could help patients after first-line treatments fail, according to this report from the BBC.
  • European scientists found that a range of chemotherapy drugs and other treatments didn’t harm unborn babies when given to pregnant women. But the variety of treatments used mean that it’s difficult to draw firm conclusions, as this Mail Online article points out.
  • Fewer, larger doses of radiotherapy could prove to be more effective for prostate cancer patients, according to early clinical trial results from our scientists in London. Our press release has the details.

Number of the week:

18.3

The percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes in England – the lowest rate on record.

  • Aspirin might boost survival for certain gastrointestinal cancers, but the early research findings reported in the Guardian and Mail Online need to be confirmed in large studies. This NHS Choices article is a must-read.
  • The BBC did some digging on the story of the unlicensed drug GcMAF that’s still being sold to people. Here’s our updated blog post on what it is and why patients should avoid it. And we commented on this story on Radio 5 live – listen to the programme here.
  • Ensuring people worldwide aren’t missing out on radiotherapy and surgery could prevent millions of premature deaths from potentially treatable cancers. Our news report has the details.
  • The coverage of actress Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy led to improved knowledge of breast reconstruction surgery among women. Read our news report, or this Mail Online article, for the details.
  • Smoking rates are close to a record low, while the Government introduced a ban on smoking in cars with children. We covered this, as did the BBC and Guardian.
  • And smoking will be banned in certain prisons starting in 2016.
  • Swedish researchers offered more evidence showing that taller people may be slightly more likely to develop cancer. The BBC had our pick of the coverage, but the study didn’t take into account many factors that affect our risk of developing the disease – such as smoking.
  • A new report found that GPs are ill-prepared to cope with the growing demand for cancer care. Read our news report for the details.
  • The Independent questioned why the Government dropped plans for a tobacco levy. And we asked a couple of economics experts to blog about how a levy to ‘earmark’ funds in this way works.
  • The Teenage Cancer Trust found that almost a third of young cancer patients are diagnosed via A&E, according to reports in the Independent and Mail Online.
  • An investigation by Pulse Magazine found that some GPs were being offered money to reduce the number of patients being sent through the urgent referral system. The BBC and Guardian, among others, covered this.
  • The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece on how genetic testing in the US could help save some women with early-stage breast cancer from undergoing unnecessary chemotherapy.
  • A UK study found that hormone replacement therapy might be safe for women who’ve already had ovarian cancer, but larger studies are needed to confirm the results. The Mirror has more details.
  • Survival data presented this week to the European Cancer Congress showed that age discrimination is “alive and well” in Britain when it comes to breast cancer and it’s affecting our survival rates. The Telegraph has more on this.
  • One of our favourite pieces this week was this lovely story in the Telegraph about how a 70p antimalarial drug might become a powerful weapon to help stop bowel cancer spreading.

And finally

Research funded by the California Dried Plum Board suggests that dried plums might be good for you (shocker). But the study covered in this Mirror article was actually looking at how dried plums might affect the likelihood of rats developing bowel cancer, not people. Take a look at our website for more on loose claims about food and cancer.

Nick

Comments

thomas samaras October 5, 2015

In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund reported that height was related to cancer based on evidence that was “strong, consistent and impressive.” Many studies have also found that shorter, smaller bodies tend to live longer. The famous gerontologist, Alex Comfort, reported in 1961 that within a species smaller individuals live longer. Recently researchers, Kraus, Pavard and Promislow, reported that considerable evidence indicates that smaller individuals within a species tend to live longer. Human studies showing shorter people live longer are numerous. For example, He et al. (2014) reported that they tracked over 8000 elderly Japanese-Hawaiian males and found that shorter men lived longer. Another study by Samaras (2014) summarized eight different areas of research supporting the thesis that smaller individuals live longer. Professor Bartke, Director of the Aging and Longevity Research Laboratory at SIU also concluded that smaller body size was an advantage (Is smaller better?, 2012). Salaris (2012) also found shorter men lived longer in a small, isolated village in Sardina. Many more studies of various populations support these studies. For more information see http://www.humanbodysize.com

Since height is only 10% or less of the longevity picture, tall people can live to be 100 years if they have good genes, follow a healthful diet, exercise regularly and keep their BMIs on the low end of a healthy range. Well-off people tend to live 5 to 10 years longer than poor people and this is no doubt due to good health habits, less smoking and good health care and practices. Higher income people tend to be taller and thinner than poor people.