• The government finally announced its ambition for a smokefree generation in England 2022. According to the BBC, Sun and New Scientist, the long-awaited Tobacco Control Plan aims to slash adult smoking rates from 16 in 100 to 12 in 100 by 2022. But, as we reported, there are big issues with a lack of funding and clear targets that mean the plan doesn’t go far enough.
  • A new report shows that cancer survival rates in the UK have fallen behind similar European nations. The figures put the UK as the 8th lowest in Europe for cancer patients surviving 5 years after diagnosis. We covered this as did the Guardian and Independent.
  • The Independent and Express also highlighted the poor outcome for people diagnosed with the 6 cancers that have the worst survival. Late diagnosis and a lack of treatment options are possible reasons why figures are so low.

Number of the week


A new report says the UK is the 8th lowest in Europe for cancer patients surviving 5 years after diagnosis.

  • Concerns have also been raised over a draft recommendation not to vaccinate boys against the human papilloma virus. Girls are already offered the vaccine against the virus that can cause cervical cancer, as well as anal and penile cancer. The BBC reported that an expert group that advises the government didn’t think giving the jab to boys would be cost effective. The Mail also covered this controversial advice.
  • An enormous hole ‘as big as the Royal Albert Hall’ caused a stir in London this week as the Evening Standard discussed the building of an NHS proton beam therapy centre at UCL hospital. We launched the second instalment of our radiotherapy series which talks about what this kind of machine could mean for patients.
  • Last week concerns were raised over how the UK will source radioactive substances needed in cancer treatments and diagnosis after Brexit. But the Telegraph reports that a British company is building a machine called a cyclotron that could supply our hospitals with important radioactive substances commonly used to detect cancer.
  • The BBC and Mail Online reported on a survey that found children exercise less as they get older. The number of children doing an hour of exercise a day has been reported to fall significantly between the ages of 5 and 12. Being inactive can contribute to being overweight and obese, which in adulthood can increase the risk of 13 different types of cancers.

    And finally…

  • News broke from across the pond that Republican senator John McCain has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumour. In an interesting feature, STAT news talks about experimental treatments in the pipeline for this aggressive and hard to treat disease. We have more information on brain tumours and how we’re tackling them in these blog posts.