A new genetic test has been developed that can distinguish the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
The test will help doctors tell apart slow-growing and aggressive cancers, enabling them to respond with the most appropriate treatments.
One of the biggest problems involved in treating prostate cancer is knowing what kind of disease a patient has. The new Prolaris test measures the activity of genes that drive cell division and provides a Cell Cycle Progression (CCP) score.
A one unit increase in CCP score was found roughly to double the risk of prostate cancer death or recurrence. The test should eventually mean that doctors will not have to "overtreat" patients with strong, debilitating drugs. Professor Jack Cuzick, the study author from University of London said:
"Over-treatment of prostate cancer is a serious issue so it's essential that we have an accurate way of spotting those cancers that pose an immediate risk. For patients with slow-growing tumours, it's far safer and kinder to watch and wait - only acting if the situation starts to change.
"We've shown this test is accurate at telling apart these two different tumour types at many different stages of treatment. [...]
"We want to try and shorten the time it takes to get the results and establish how frequently the test needs to be done in order to be most effective at spotting any changes."
Early diagnosis and screening is a crucial tool in the fight against cancer and makes a significant difference to survival rates of all types of cancer, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK said.
In an interview with Science and Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty, Harpal Kumar said:
"Early diagnosis is incredibly important for cancer, and it is true that it is important across just about every type of cancer.
"We know that for the vast majority of cases, the earlier we detect it, the greater the chances of successful treatment, and often for the patient, must less gruelling treatment, so it really can make an enormous difference."
The Tobacco Journal's research into the relationship between teenagers and anti-smoking pictures on cigarettes packets has shown why graphic images need to be on both sides of the packaging, a health charity has said.
Alison Cox, head of tobacco policy for Cancer Research UK, explained:
"This research boosts the extensive evidence that picture health warnings are very effective in reminding smokers about the dangers of tobacco," she said.
"We know that well-placed picture warnings work and discourage young people from starting to smoke so we're delighted that the European Parliament will vote on legislation for picture warnings to appear on both sides of cigarette packs."
"UK law requires picture warnings to appear only on the back of the pack. This research shows why European legislation is so important."
A group of cancer survivors have had the bodies painted as part of a new campaign to raise awareness about the disease.
Cancer survivors Anna Smiles, Parminder Sangha, Linda Seal and Adam Hart had their bodies painted by make-up artist Carolyn Roper as part of a "human billboard" to launch Cancer Research UK's Beat Cancer Sooner campaign, at Victoria Station, London.
New figures from Cancer Research UK has shown the number of younger women developing breast cancer is on the rise, despite the disease being more common in older women.
Women of all ages who notice anything different about their breasts, including changes in size, shape or feel, a lump or thickening, nipple discharge or rash, dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin, should see their GP straight away, even if they have attended breast cancer screening.
It's more likely not to be cancer but if it is, detecting it early gives the best chance of successful treatment.
The number of cases in women under 50 diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing slowly, but thanks to research, awareness and improved care more women than ever before are surviving the disease.
– Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information