Together we will beat cancer

  • A one-off PSA screening test for prostate cancer doesn’t save lives and may do more harm than good, reports the MailOnline. We funded the largest ever PSA test trial that found men without symptoms who had the test were no less likely to die of prostate cancer than those who hadn’t. The PSA test can be useful to monitor men who have already been diagnosed there’s no screening programme for prostate cancer because we don’t have a reliable enough test. Check out our blog post for more and another post on the wider issue of overdiagnosis.
  • “Britain needs to go on a diet”, said health officials this week. BBC News reported a plan to tackle obesity by cutting calories in many foods by 20%. Changing recipes, reducing portion sizes and encouraging healthy choices are in the plan. We also covered this, as did the Guardian and Telegraph.
  • Our new research partnership with Arthritis UK is exploring common ground between arthritis and cancer, which could bring benefits to patients with either disease. The Observer explains how both are linked to the body’s immune system and, by studying diseases that are tied to the immune system in different ways, scientists may find common ground that accelerates progress. Our blog post has more.
  • NHS England plans to cut prostate cancer diagnosis times from six weeks to a matter of days according to BBC News. A one-stop service will be trialled in London aiming to give up to 4 in 10 patients a same day diagnosis. Currently tests include an MRI scan and a biopsy where a dozen samples are taken, requiring multiple hospital visits. ITV News had more.
  • Australia could become the first country to eradicate cervical cancer, reports the Guardian. Australia’s free HPV vaccine programme in schools is predicted to dramatically reduce the number of new cases to “just a few” in 40 years’ time. The Mail Online also had the story.
  • Differences in lung cancer treatment are leading to unnecessary deaths, reports the Guardian. Lung cancer survival varies across England, and researchers found it was highest in areas that treated patients with radiotherapy or surgery more often. The researchers said around 800 deaths could be prevented if treatment standards across the country matched the top performing regions. Our news report has more.
  • Vitamin D may protect against cancer, according to new Japanese research. But as the Guardian reports, overall the evidence is mixed and it’s not clear whether being deficient vitamin D just reflects poor general health, rather than having a direct impact on cancer risk. The Telegraph also had the story.

And finally

  • Half of Britons mistakenly think that stress can cause cancer, reports the Guardian. A survey also found that around 60% of people know that alcohol increases cancer risk, around 50% know that processed meat does, but only 40% know that being overweight or obese increases risk. Check out our website for more on some common causes.



Tamara Silicka March 18, 2018

It’s unfortunate that so many people object to the obesity/cancer link without thinking it through rationally.
I appreciate that many people considered to be obese can be very defensive about their weight and object to the correlation but in my view the population generally has been conned by the food industry to adopt unhealthy eating patterns over the last 50 years.
We were persuaded that sugar and carbs were the healthy option and we should cut out saturated fats.
This of course is now being questioned by scientists and other experts who are also linking the sugar diet with the increased incidence of diabetes, alzheimers and cancers.

People who have problems with their weight should NOT be having to take personal responsiblity for following NHS guidelines and the food industry who profited so richly from pushing the junk foods which has become our staple diet.

The food industry should be financing advice and treatments for all those people who conformed to their marketing strategies and perhaps they should be sued for putting the health of the population at risk.

Pam Wright March 15, 2018

I won’t be donating to Cancer Research UK again because I thought my money was being spent on research, not on billboard sites to inform people that obesity causes cancer. I can understand some advertising to generate more donations but the obesity ad isn’t going to generate donations and has lost you mine.

Gill evans March 15, 2018

Please unsubcribe emma she not on this email address.its mine gill evans

Philip Longdon March 14, 2018

Its all very well saying that such as “processed meat” increases cancer risk, but
a. there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition of what “processed” means.
b. Assuming it includes red meat etc in “Ready meals”, it is more and more difficult to purchase and consume healthier alternatives.
Its all very well (and correct) telling individuals to take more responsibility, but its not the individual’s fault if Butchers are closing right left and centre, such that decent ones can only be reached by a long drive – no good if you don’t even have a car!
And its not the individual’s fault if (large) Employers are closing canteens and making employees go out and buy, prepare (in second hand microwaves) and eat lunch all inside 30 minutes.

Lorraine marsh March 14, 2018

I have pancreatic cancer and I never hear news that money is being put behind research for the cancer that is the deadliest and diagnosis is often too late.

Nigel March 14, 2018

With prostate cancer being so destructive, I think that the important issue here is that we need new screening methods that don’t fall short as the PSA test apparently does. We need a test that is highly reliable and we should all do what we can to help with that cause.

Forest from New York March 10, 2018

As a 44 year old with no family history of prostate cancer, a PSA test run by a doctor who ignored the guidelinea saved my life. I was diagnosed and treated for stage 3 prostate cancer. Without the PSA test being run “early”, i would have had untreatable diagnosis by the age of 50 when the teat is usually run in the US. When i see articles about overdiagnosis, i think better training doctors is a better option than leaving actual cancers undiagnosed.