NHS staffing shortage undermines ambition to diagnose cancer early

Our new figures show that in just one year around 115,000 cancer patients in England are diagnosed too late to give them the best chance of survival. NHS staff are working tirelessly to give the best care possible, but with more people being referred to hospital for tests, there aren’t enough staff to cope with demand. The Guardian and our press release have the details.

Parents in Scotland support restrictions on junk food price promotions

According to The Scotsman, the majority of parents in Scotland believe that promotions on junk food, like buy one get one free deals, tempt people into buying unhealthy food. Our poll also found that 6 in 10 parents strongly support restricting price promotions on foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Read our press release for more.

Treatment may cause some breast cancer cells in the lab to ‘sleep’

Some breast cancer drugs may force certain cancer cells into ‘sleep mode’, a state from which they can reawaken and causes problems years after initial treatment, according to The Sun. The new research, carried out by scientists in London, studied breast cancer cells in the lab and treated them with hormone therapy. Now work needs to be done to see if the same effects happen in people.

Cancer overtaking heart disease as leading cause of death in wealthiest nations

According to the Mail Online, cancer is overtaking heart disease as the leading cause of death in wealthy countries. Experts say this is partly due to health improvements decreasing deaths from heart disease in high income countries, as well potential differences in factors, such as diet which can impact cancer risk.

Promising prostate cancer trial launched

iNews covers the launch of a new trial for men with advanced prostate cancer. Doctors will examine four different treatment options including a highly focused ultrasound treatment, surgery and radiotherapy in a bid to see if treating the original tumour helps stop their cancer spreading further.

GP referrals examined in NHS survey

A new NHS report says a third of people diagnosed with cancer in England have gone to their GP at least twice before being referred to hospitals for tests. The Mail Online covered the figures, which have shown a slight improvement on last years’ survey.

“Snack tax” could be more effective at curbing obesity than soft drinks tax

Sky News reports research that shows a so-called “snack tax” could be more effective at tackling obesity than the soft drinks levy introduced in April last year. The researchers say that increasing the price of sugary snacks by 20% could lead to an average weight loss of 1.3kg per person. Predictions suggest the “snack tax” could reduce obesity levels in the UK from around 28% to 25%.

And finally…

The Mail Online says women who have six or more symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a greater risk of ovarian cancer than those who have no symptoms. So far there is no good evidence of a link between PTSD and cancer, so the researchers now need to study different groups of people to confirm these findings. If conditions like PTSD really are behind certain ovarian cancers, then this insight could help doctors determine who is at a higher risk of the disease.

Gabi