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Let's beat cancer sooner

  • The big news this week was our latest statistics showing that half of people diagnosed with cancer today will survive for at least 10 years. The figures received a huge amount of media attention and coincide with the release of our new strategy. We summarised the stats in this infographic (below). The story was widely covered in the media, including in The Telegraph, the Independent, The Guardian, and across the BBC.

Survival-Press-Web-corrected

  • But the figures lead to some confusion in the form of a different infographic in the Metro showing that breastfeeding was a lifestyle risk factor linked to cancer. Read our blog post – featuring a summary of the media coverage our statistics received – which clarifies that breast cancer is actually less common in women who breastfeed for more than six months.
  • Our statistics also raised the question of whether in the future, cancer could become a chronic disease – something that people live with, rather than die from. This article from the Independent explores the experience of living with cancer long-term from the perspective of a patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • In other news… following the recent success of a clinical trial, the journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery published this article about our Clinical Development Partnerships scheme, which is giving stalled cancer drugs a second chance. The programme’s head also wrote this guest post for our blog.
  • The Mail Online covered a large study suggesting that vitamin D could improve survival in people with breast and bowel cancer. We’ve written about the potential link between vitamin D and cancer survival before. We all need vitamin D but for most people in the UK ‘everyday’ sun exposure and a healthy balanced diet provide enough. So this news doesn’t change the fact that it’s still important to be safe in the sun – finding shade when the sun is strongest, covering up and using sunscreen for parts of the body you can’t cover.
  • Public Health England discuss the age at which women are invited to take part in cervical screening in this post on their blog.
  • Lucy Briers, daughter of the late actor Richard Briers, shared this personal story about her father’s death and why she thinks standard packs for cigarettes are so important for protecting future generations.
  • The number of people using electronic cigarettes has topped two million, tripling in use over the last two years. The BBC and our news story have more.
  • This comment piece in The Guardian outlines the challenges faced by doctors trying to get ‘compassionate’ access to cancer drugs for their patients.
  • There were a couple of interesting articles from ‘Wired Health’, which took place this week in London. The first covered how tiny ‘nanoparticles’ could be used in the future to locate tumours for diagnosis and even target them with treatments.
  • And this article covers a talk from Chief Government Scientist, Sir Mark Walport, outlining the challenges facing the use of widespread genetic testing in the NHS. (We’ve blogged before about how we’re trialling this in lung cancer as part of our Stratified Medicine Programme).
  • This blog post from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) looks at the latest results from trials of the prostate cancer drug abiraterone.

And finally

  • Following the launch of our new strategy, this thoughtful comment piece in The Guardian provided a timely reminder that funding for medical research can be tight and generous public donations are vital for making progress in many areas of research.

Nick

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Comments

Nqobile Langa(14261562) May 8, 2014

The text provides advanced detail about cancer and the treatment but it would help if some of the medical terms were explained because it is kind of hard to understand the words if you do not have medical knowledge