Together we will beat cancer

  • Health Education England released an eagerly-anticipated plan to solve staff shortages in NHS cancer services. More than 5000 extra staff have been promised by 2021, covering diagnosis and treatment. While a promising first step, as we detail in our blog post, there’s still a way to go. The Telegraph also covered this.
  • Danish research picked up by the Guardian and others has backed up previous work by finding the Pill is linked with a small increase in breast cancer risk. But the small increase in risk needs to be be considered against the benefits of the Pill, which include a reduced risk of other types of cancer. Women considering starting or stopping the Pill should talk to their doctor.
  • The Telegraph and Mail Online picked up new research showing a quarter of nurses in England are obese, and were more likely to be obese than other healthcare professionals.
  • The BBC also reported on new UK figures which show between the ages of seven and 11, the proportion of children who are overweight or obese climbs from 25% to almost 35%. As we’ve blogged about before, such trends are worrying because obese youngsters are more likely to be obese as adults.
  • Our scientists in Manchester are developing a DNA blood test that could detect if a melanoma is coming back after treatment. The Independent covered this, and watch the animation below for how this type of blood test works.

  • Herald Scotland and the Evening Times covered a ‘ground-breaking’ new clinical trial opening in Scotland for pancreatic cancer that we’re helping fund. This is the first time that the potential of personalised medicine will be tested out for this hard-to-treat disease.
  • Drugs’ shortages, including cancer treatments, are costing the NHS a lot of money, report the Times and the Sun. The reports claim that low supplies are causing delays in treatment.

And finally

  • Sausages featured in headlines after a new study claimed that the majority of bangers made in Britain don’t contain potentially cancer-causing chemicals used as preservatives. The reports made the misleading suggestion that this gives British sausages the ‘cancer all-clear’, following a 2015 report confirming processed meat is a definite cause of cancer. As we’ve blogged about before, a diet high in processed and red meat can increase the risk of bowel cancer, so it’s all about moderation.



Davina Elgazzar December 27, 2017

It is the Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) formed in the cooking process of meats which could increase the risk of bowel cancer, not the preservatives used. Many people always blame “added chemicals” that have been safety tested and is not the cause of the cancer risk in processed meats, the fact that it has been processed or not does not really make a difference unless you are looking at the meat’s nutritional value.

DocMills December 10, 2017

Sausages are not processed meat (as the new research and news stories confirm).