Section of human colon showing sausage-shaped crypts. Image courtesy of Winton lab. 

Bowel cancer rates in younger people on the rise

Figures from 2 large, multinational studies have shown an increase in bowel cancer cases in younger people.  One of the studies, part-funded by Cancer Research UK, calculated that there were 267 more cases of bowel cancer in 30 to 29-year-olds in 2014 compared to 2005. But despite the increase, bowel cancer in younger people is still uncommon. The Telegraph reports calls from some for the bowel cancer screening age to be lowered. We blogged about the possible reasons for the increase and why this research alone isn’t evidence enough for changing the bowel cancer screening programme in the UK.

New cancer drug discovery lab announced

Cancer evolution hit headlines this week after plans were announced for a new cancer drug discovery lab in London. It’s an exciting cash injection, but research into how cancer evolves is already in full swing. Have a read of some of the ways we’re unpicking how tumours grow and develop over time to make better treatments.

£6 million to boost number of doctors involved in cancer research in Scotland

Science in Scotland is set to receive a multimillion-pound boost to transform training for doctors who do cancer research, reports The Scotsman. We’re giving £50.7 million to research centres across the UK, with £6 million going to institutes in Edinburgh and Glasgow to train doctors who also carry out medical research. The flexibility of the scheme aims to help support and retain women scientists in the field. We spoke to a researcher for their take.

Lower-dose chemotherapy benefits certain elderly and frail patients

Giving low-dose chemotherapy to frail and elderly patients with advanced stomach and oesophageal cancers provides some benefit, says Healio. We blogged about these unpublished results and why trials looking for the best way to treat frail and elderly patients are so important.

‘Pink drink’ which helps surgeons remove brain tumours more precisely rolled out across NHS

A pink drink, known to some as 5-ALA, that helps brain tumour cells glow under UV light has been rolled out across the NHS, reports The Independent. The colourful dye, given as a drink to patients before surgery, can help surgeons remove brain tumours more precisely. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended that more patients be given the dye before their first surgery back in July 2018.

Transgender women taking hormones have increased risk of breast cancer compared to cisgender men

We covered a study carried out by researchers from the University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, which suggests trans women (individuals assigned male sex at birth who identify as women) undergoing hormone treatment are around 47 times more likely to develop breast cancer than cis men (individuals assigned male sex at birth who identify as men). Experts say the new data will help doctors better advise people on appropriate screening programmes to take part in.

How many doctors and nurses come from abroad?

The BBC looks at how many doctors and nurses come from countries around the world. This is ahead of a major NHS recruitment campaign aiming to enlist health workers from other countries to meet growing staff shortages.

Children less likely to smoke thanks to cigarette display ban in shops

New research suggests that children are less likely to start smoking now that shops are banned from displaying cigarette packets. The Mail Online reports, that the risk of taking up smoking among 11 to 16-year-olds who have never smoked, fell by 35% after the ban was phased in across the UK between 2012 and 2015. This helps confirm that by putting cigarettes out of sight and out of mind we can help safeguard young people from the dangers of smoking.

Jab helps curb food cravings in mice

The Sun reports an early study that suggests an experiential injection may help curb the appetite of mice. The jab contains a molecule that helps the brain regulate bodyweight, but we’re a long way from knowing if it could have the same effect in humans, despite The Sun’s headline.

Skin and breast cancer drugs approved for NHS use in Scotland

Two new cancer treatments are now an NHS treatment option for patients in Scotland. We covered the decision that will make an immunotherapy for advanced skin cancer and a combo including a targeted drug for some breast cancers more widely available.

Cancer drug available for multiple myeloma patients on the NHS

And a drug approval in England: we covered the decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence that gives adults with a type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma who can’t receive standard care another treatment option.

And finally…

According to The Sun, a food additive found in chewing gum and mayonnaise may impact the gut microbiome of mice. Changes to the community of bacteria, viruses and fungi in our gut has been linked to cancer. But the microbiome is a complicated community that varies between person to person and species to species. Just because this effect has been seen in mice, does not mean the same can be applied to people. If you want to find out more about the gut microbiome and how it’s linked to cancer watch the video below.

Gabi