It’s been relatively slow for cancer news this week, but there were still some interesting headlines:
- Around five per cent of all cancer deaths in Britain are linked to certain occupations, especially shift work and those that involve regular exposure to asbestos or diesel engine fumes, such as construction work. That’s the conclusion of a study published on Wednesday – here’s our press release. Estimates like these help policy makers and employers develop strategies to reduce these exposures as much as possible (as we discussed last week in this post about diesel exhaust).
- Women who have breast cancer surgery have better survival rates when decisions about their care are made by a healthcare team rather an individual doctor, according to work published this week (here’s our news story). So-called multidisciplinary teams have become the standard of care in the NHS over the last few decades. The research found that survival was 18 per cent higher in patients if decisions about their care were made by a group rather than an individual doctor.
- People who take up their invitations for bowel screening are more likely to have bowel cancer diagnosed at an early stage – when there is a better chance of survival – than those who wait until they have symptoms of the disease. This was the conclusion of a study presented the annual National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) conference in Birmingham this week. Medical Xpress covered the story. The research highlights the potential improvements we can make through encouraging more people to take up their screening invitation so the disease is diagnosed earlier.
- Cancer Research UK’s Josephine Querido was at the NCIN conference, and wrote this article about the hot topics that got delegates talking, including information about the diagnosis of childhood cancer, and a new website that gives people information about their local hospitals to help them decide where to have treatment.
- Two of our scientists won the Wellcome Image Awards this week for their stunning scientific images. We wrote about the biological process of a cancer cell dividing, captured magnificently in graduate scientist Kuan-Chung Su’s award-winning image, and published this alongside a slideshow of all 16 winning images. We encourage anyone interested in seeing them up close to visit the exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London.
- Over on the American Cancer Society’s blog, Dr Len has another thoughtful and insightful article about how the new developments in personalised medicine will be put into practice. Although his article is written from a US perspective, many of his points will resonate with readers on this side of the Atlantic as well.
- Our thoughts have been with author and broadcaster Clive James and his family this week, as we heard the latest news about his leukaemia. There’s information for people affected by all forms of leukaemia over on our CancerHelp UK patient information website.
- There were several headlines this week claiming that men who drink large quantities of tea are more likely to develop prostate cancer. The BBC covered the story, as did the Daily Mail. Although the study suggests a weak statistical link between prostate cancer risk and drinking a lot of tea, it doesn’t say whether this is a cause-and-effect relationship, and it doesn’t explain how tea could potentially increase the risk of the disease. Until we know more, the British love affair with a nice cuppa can continue uninterrupted. If you want to know more about the limitations of the study, read this great analysis of the research on NHS Choices.