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Research Article

Birth Size and Breast Cancer Risk: Re-analysis of Individual Participant Data from 32 Studies

  • Isabel dos Santos Silva equal contributor mail,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Isabel dos Santos Silva, Bianca De Stavola

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: isabel.silva@lshtm.ac.uk

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

    X
  • Bianca De Stavola equal contributor,

    equal contributor Contributed equally to this work with: Isabel dos Santos Silva, Bianca De Stavola

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

    X
  • Valerie McCormack,

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

    X
  • Collaborative Group on Pre-Natal Risk Factors and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer

    Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom

    X
  • Published: September 30, 2008
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050193

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News Coverage

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:30 GMT

Author: Nisha Doshi
Position: Publications Assistant
Institution: PLoS Medicine
E-mail: ndoshi@plos.org
Submitted Date: October 03, 2008
Published Date: October 3, 2008
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Behind the Headlines, on the NHS Choices site, provided a summary of the results and limitations of this study and an analysis of some of the more dramatic headlines in the UK media: the Mirror “Big babies cancer link”; Daily Mail “Bigger and taller baby girls have higher risk of breast cancer”. The Guardian covered the piece in brief. The Telegraph coverage quoted from the perspective published alongside the study by Pagona Lagiou and Dimitrios Trichopoulos.

There was a substantial article on the BBC News site. The article quoted and got the reaction from representatives from two breast cancer charities. Isabel dos Santos Silva emphasized that more research is needed to understand the affect of the pre-natal environment on breast cancer; Sarah Cant of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “This research could add to our increasing knowledge about the causes of breast cancer - possibly helping us to better predict breast cancer risk and potentially prevent the disease in the future.”

In the United States, the article was covered on WebMD and The Washington Post, both of which contacted Debbie Saslow, PhD, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society, who commented by saying "it's just one more piece of the puzzle that someday will help the research community better understand the multiple, interplaying causes of breast cancer."

Medical News Today, New Scientist, and Fox News also covered this article, and it was blogged about on Newsweek. All three of these sites linked back to the original paper. Scientific American picked up the Reuters report.

Outside of the US and UK, the paper was well covered: it received attention from , Nguoi Lao Dong and Nhan Dan in Vietnam, n-tv and Wissenschaft aktuell Nachrichtendienst in Germany and many more news sites around the globe. It was covered by agencies in Cuba, Mexico, Chile and Spain as a result of a BBC World translation of their coverage into Spanish and a Latin American Reuters report.

No competing interests declared.