Together we will beat cancer

Tabloids on a news stand

Catch up on the headlines

  • We were pleased to hear that plans to introduce plain, standardised packaging for tobacco products are gathering pace in Scotland (but it would be great if it could happen even faster). Here’s our news story.
  • The Independent covered Public Health England’s upcoming Stoptober Challenge and reported that smokers who quit could gain an extra week of life for every month they abstain from tobacco. And our news story features this year’s Stoptober video.
  • E-cigarettes can be as effective as nicotine patches at helping smokers quit, according to new research. We covered the research, and NHS Choices had a detailed analysis of the evidence.
  • A landmark US study found a rare, inherited mutation that leaves children susceptible to acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Most children with this cancer don’t have a family history, but for families who have generations of several affected children, this information could be used for both diagnosis and counselling. Science Daily has more info.
  • An augmented reality app is helping surgeons remove liver tumours without damaging critical vessels within the organ. This article has more detail.
  • The Independent reported on an experimental skin implant the size of a fingernail that instructs immune cells to home in on and kill cancer cells.
  • Over the coming weeks, keep an eye out for this Scientific American blog series on the hallmarks of cancer. It sounds interesting.
  • We blogged about NHS England’s National Cancer Patient Experience Survey
  • …while Reuters reported that US cancer care is “in crisis”.

And finally

  • The BBC reported on an analysis by The World Cancer Research Fund that highlights that the risk of womb cancer can be reduced by maintaining a healthy body weight and keeping active. It’s still unclear whether coffee has any role in reducing the risk of womb cancer. We’ve written before about coffee and cancer here.


Images courtesy of Jon s, via Flickr.


celia November 5, 2013

To all those that don’t believe natural treatments for cancer can work what about the new treatment for prostate cancer. Which the drugs companies aren’t interested in because there’s not enough money in it. Celia

johnpeeter00 October 3, 2013

Cancer Research UK is determined to reduce deaths from smoking-related cancers and there’s a lot of potential for e-cigarettes to help reduce the devastating impact of tobacco,

electronic cigarettes

RobbieW September 24, 2013

“Costs and burdens of medicines regulation for e – cigarettes”

Very informative report by eminent individuals ( Clive Bates & professor Gerry Stimson ) here;

Their conclusions;

We conclude that medicines regulation for e-cigarettes will:

Destroy the existing supply chain and most businesses
Create a de facto ban on most products
Make e-cigarettes harder to buy than tobacco cigarettes
Favour the cigarette industry
Induce significant legal risk
Create high and unnecessary barriers to entry for firms and products.

In short, medicines regulation focuses on creating a better medicinal product, whereas the public health is served by having better alternatives to cigarettes.

With such views coming from people with such impeccable credentials it is indefensible for CRUK to remain silent and maintain a position that will cause many thousands of deaths.


CRUK, stop and think, do the right thing

RobbieW September 19, 2013

Hello Kat

If all the 10m smokers in the UK suddenly stopped exposing themselves to tobacco smoke, it would result in approx 2-3m less cancer cases over the next 20 years.

Would that result in a significant reduction of overall cancer rates?

celia September 18, 2013

Firstly non of the people that I know who have died of cancer were old. Secondly Government figures in the year 2000 showed one in ten people would get cancer in their lifetime. And its rubbish about life style choices when chemical farming is one of the biggest causes of cancer. And it doesn’t seem as though more people are getting cancer, they are!! So please don’t give me platitudes.

RobbieW September 18, 2013

So CRUK will answer a query from someone who clearly cannot do the most basic of research, but you continue to ignore the hundreds of comments on your blog regarding the e-cigs.

Remember, if you get your way ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED.

Stop and think, do the right thing

Kat Arney September 18, 2013

Hi Celia,
I’m afraid your numbers are incorrect. It’s true that the lifetime risk of cancer is increasing in the UK, and currently more than 1 in 3 (42 per cent) people are diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. In 1975, which is the earliest we are able to estimate a figure for this, the lifetime risk was in fact 1 in 4 (25 per cent), not one in thirty. We certainly do not keep quiet about this increase in risk – for example, see this news story:

The main reasons for the increase is that we are living longer (cancer incidence increases with age) and cancer incidence rates have been increasing. The increase in cancer incidence rates is due to many factors including changes in lifestyle (more than 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes), screening detecting more breast cancers and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing detecting more prostate cancers. The risk of cancer also increases as we get older, which helps to explain why we seem to know more people with the disease as life goes on.

We provide a range of statistics on the lifetime risk of cancer, as well as many other facts and figures, in the CancerStats section of our site, which you may like to explore:

Best wishes,
Kat, Science Information Manager

RobbieW September 17, 2013

Three German courts today ruled that e-cigs are not medicines, this now means that there have been 7 court cases in Europe with the same outcome – e-cigs are not medicines.

So why do CRUK support a policy that tries to make them a medicine?.

If you get your way ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED. Stop and think, do the right thing

Brian Nightingale September 17, 2013

E cigs are not medicines, according to a ruling by a German court today. Good news for vapers I think.

Benny E-cig September 17, 2013

With new studies about electronic cigarettes coming out almost weekly it seems I believe CRUK should reassess its position on electronic cigarettes.

They are at least as effective as patches and health effects are 100-500 times less harmful as tobacco.

They help 57% of people reduce tobacco use:

Its time CRUK got behind electronic cigarettes and oppose the over regulation suggested by the MHRA.

E-cigarettes have the potential to save millions of lives. This technology needs to be supported, not over regulated.

RobbieW September 16, 2013

“There’s a lot of potential for e-cigarettes to help reduce the devastating impact of tobacco”

– Alison Cox, Cancer Research UK

Well, at least we can all agree on that particular statement.

Why then, do you want to BAN ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS?

RobbieW September 16, 2013

Well worth repeating



CRUK, it is not a complicated statement, it has been confirmed by Jeremy Mean, MRHA. It will cause millions of people to move back to or continue to smoke tobacco.

And CRUK support this policy?, it’s a shameful state of affairs

David Moger September 16, 2013

As you approve of the MHRA licensing e cigs as medical products let me make you understand that ALL CURRENT PRODUCTS WILL BE BANNED. We have it in writing from the MHRA. The only products that will be allowed are metered flavourless sprays just like the current cessation devices. SMOKERS DON’T WANT THEM NOW AND WILL NOT WANT THEM IN FUTURE. E Cigs are NOT A CESSATION product. They are an ALERNATIVE to tocabbo smoking that is at least 100 times safer. Leave them alone of miss the most significant improvement in health for a century.

Dodderer September 16, 2013

“Cancer Research UK is determined to reduce deaths from smoking-related cancers and there’s a lot of potential for e-cigarettes to help reduce the devastating impact of tobacco, which kills half its long term users. There are many unanswered questions about these products, so it’s crucial that they’re properly explored to understand their benefits and risks.”

E-cigarettes first started to become popular in 2008 – you’ve never really explained why you didn’t commission the research to answer the many unanswered questions.My research shows 1.3m users with no evidence of harm – why not let this miracle progress,unhindered by red tape?

robert innes September 14, 2013

“We covered the research” – well that is comforting! Read the following and perhaps you will refrain from publicising bad research in future.

celia September 14, 2013

All these reports are very interesting but please do tell us why in 1970 one in thirty people got cancer and now’s nearly one in two. The people of the world need to be told the truth about what has caused the increase in this terrible illness!! Reports say more and more people are surviving cancer but they keep very quiet about the fact that more people than ever before are getting cancer! The only people than I know that have survived didn’t have aggressive forms of cancer. I have lost my husband, father, sister in law, father in law and many other more distant family members,my best friend and many people in the village to cancer!!