Breast cancer cell image (credit: LRI EM department)

Breast cancer cell image (credit: LRI EM department)

E-cigarettes and coronavirus risk

Teens and young adults who use e-cigarettes could be 5 to 7 times more likely than non-smokers to catch coronavirus, new research suggests. The study linked vaping to an increased risk in young people developing symptoms such as coughing, fever, tiredness and difficulty breathing. Findings come after researchers at the University of Tasmania analysed survey responses from over 4,351 people aged between 13 and 24, who smoked both tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Despite the headlines, this “7 times more likely” figure includes people who’ve used tobacco and e-cigarettes “ever” alongside with those who’ve just used both in the last 30 days. When looking at the individuals who only used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, there was no significant increase in COVID-19 diagnosis. Find out more at The Independent.

Three new genetic variants linked to male breast cancer

Research funded by Breast Cancer Now has discovered 3 new genetic changes that increase the risk of breast cancer in men. New findings bring the total number of known common genetic changes linked to male breast cancer to five. Around 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK, with 80 dying of the disease. Scientists say the findings could lead to better risk testing for male breast cancer, as well as development of new preventative drugs. Full story at The Institute of Cancer Research.

Half of under-50s delay bowel cancer checks

iNews has reported the findings from Bowel Cancer UK showing that half of under-50s in Britain are unaware they could develop bowel cancer, despite displaying “red flag” symptoms. According to figures, a third of people in this age category delay seeing their GP for three months, with 40% visiting their doctor at least three times before being referred for further tests. The charity warns that delays in seeking medical advice is leading to younger people being diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage. You can find out how to safely access your GP services on the NHS website.

Shorter radiotherapy just as effective for fighting cancer

The Times reports that early-stage cancer patients are benefiting from modified radiotherapy treatment across the NHS in response to the pandemic. Researchers have shown that a smaller number of larger radiotherapy doses can cut radiotherapy treatment from four weeks to five days, meaning patients need fewer hospital visits. The decision has been backed up in a pioneering study by the Institute of Cancer Research, which found women with early-stage breast cancer can be successfully treated in this way.

And finally…

A “game-changing” scan that creates a GPS-style map of patients’ lungs is being used to detect early signs of cancer. The electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB) uses GPS-like technology to build a 3D image of the lungs, highlighting tumours that are too small or awkwardly placed to be spotted by routine scans. Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire has become the second hospital in the UK to use the technology, after St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. Full story at BBC.

Scarlett Sangster is a writer for PA Media Group