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News Digest: low bladder and lung cancer awareness, pancreatic cancer genes, a breast cancer ‘blood test’, and more

by Henry Scowcroft | Analysis

5 May 2012

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Lots of cancer-related stories in the news this week

Here’s our weekly digest of all the main discoveries and developments this week.

We’re still playing around with the format of this digest – let us know what works for you.

News from Cancer Research UK

It’s been a busy week for our press office, who’ve had several prominent stories in the media.

On Sunday, our researchers in Cambridge published their discovery of a new pancreatic cancer gene which could lead to new treatments. “Study points to potential new treatment for deadly pancreatic cancer”, said our press release – and Kat covered the exciting implications in this blog post.

People don’t seem to know the symptoms of lung cancer, we warned on Monday, as we published results of a survey showing that “People fail to list persistent cough as a lung cancer warning”.

Results of a thyroid cancer trial we funded were published on Wednesday, which we summarised in this press release entitled “Trial transforms thyroid cancer treatment into safer and shorter session”.

And yesterday, we revealed news statistics showing that “Prostate cancer cases hit 40,000 for the first time”, most of the increase being driven by more widespread use of the PSA blood test. Our head nurse, Martin Ledwick, had this to say about prostate cancer symptoms:


News from elsewhere

Several other cancer charities had stories in the media this week.

On Monday, a survey by our friends at the Teenage Cancer Trust discovered the concerning news that “Many young cancer patients fail to get early diagnosis” (Guardian), while MacMillan Cancer Support’s survey found “’Too few’ women using sun cream” (BBC) – the consequences of which were dramatically highlighted by these shocking pictures in The Sun later in the week (although we loved the headline).

On Tuesday, Breast Cancer Campaign’s story about a “Way to spot breast cancer years in advance” (BBC) got widespread coverage in the papers, on TV and on the radio. We co-funded this research, and took a deeper look in this blog post. NHS Choices also had this useful breakdown.

Also on Tuesday, Action on Bladder Cancer published a survey of bladder cancer awareness, which we covered on our news feed (“Low awareness of bladder cancer is ‘disappointing’”), along with some interesting US research on B-cell lymphoma: “B-cell lymphoma discovery could lead to new treatments,” said the headline.

How Do Brain Cancer Cells Spread? New Study Finds Clues”, wrote Medical News Today after researchers at Johns Hopkins University made an intriguing discovery about how the cells of a form of brain tumour called glioblastoma can spread.

Minimally Invasive Procedure For Oesophageal Cancer Shows Promise” (Medical News Today), according to new research in Lancet Oncology, comparing traditional open surgery with a new, less intensive form of surgery – this could be good news for oesophageal cancer patients in future.

And finally, there was continued talk and chatter about our plain packaging campaign, The Answer Is Plain. Lots of people continued to tweet about it using the hashtag #packetracket, resulting in our video getting more than 100,000 views:

[blackbirdpie url=”!/camtia/status/198428017188544514″]

…while our director of tobacco control wrote this thoughtful piece for the Speaker’s Chair blog, and we spotted this on Sifting The Evidence: “Tobacco Control, Plain Packaging, and Media Misinformation”. Clearly, the debate is building up steam – you can sign the petition here.

That’s all for this week, see you next time.