- A one-off PSA screening test for prostate cancer doesn’t save lives and may do more harm than good, reports the MailOnline. We funded the largest ever PSA test trial that found men without symptoms who had the test were no less likely to die of prostate cancer than those who hadn’t. The PSA test can be useful to monitor men who have already been diagnosed there’s no screening programme for prostate cancer because we don’t have a reliable enough test. Check out our blog post for more and another post on the wider issue of overdiagnosis.
- “Britain needs to go on a diet”, said health officials this week. BBC News reported a plan to tackle obesity by cutting calories in many foods by 20%. Changing recipes, reducing portion sizes and encouraging healthy choices are in the plan. We also covered this, as did the Guardian and Telegraph.
- Our new research partnership with Arthritis UK is exploring common ground between arthritis and cancer, which could bring benefits to patients with either disease. The Observer explains how both are linked to the body’s immune system and, by studying diseases that are tied to the immune system in different ways, scientists may find common ground that accelerates progress. Our blog post has more.
- NHS England plans to cut prostate cancer diagnosis times from six weeks to a matter of days according to BBC News. A one-stop service will be trialled in London aiming to give up to 4 in 10 patients a same day diagnosis. Currently tests include an MRI scan and a biopsy where a dozen samples are taken, requiring multiple hospital visits. ITV News had more.
- Australia could become the first country to eradicate cervical cancer, reports the Guardian. Australia’s free HPV vaccine programme in schools is predicted to dramatically reduce the number of new cases to “just a few” in 40 years’ time. The Mail Online also had the story.
- Differences in lung cancer treatment are leading to unnecessary deaths, reports the Guardian. Lung cancer survival varies across England, and researchers found it was highest in areas that treated patients with radiotherapy or surgery more often. The researchers said around 800 deaths could be prevented if treatment standards across the country matched the top performing regions. Our news report has more.
- Vitamin D may protect against cancer, according to new Japanese research. But as the Guardian reports, overall the evidence is mixed and it’s not clear whether being deficient vitamin D just reflects poor general health, rather than having a direct impact on cancer risk. The Telegraph also had the story.
- Half of Britons mistakenly think that stress can cause cancer, reports the Guardian. A survey also found that around 60% of people know that alcohol increases cancer risk, around 50% know that processed meat does, but only 40% know that being overweight or obese increases risk. Check out our website for more on some common causes.