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News digest – Cancer in the elderly, NHS funding, lung cancer treatment and making chemo kinder

by Katie Roberts | Analysis

23 June 2018

1 comment 1 comment

Cancer rates in over-75s ‘set to rocket’

The number of older people diagnosed with cancer could rise by up to 80% by 2035. BBC News and our press release have the figures from Cancer Research UK’s new report, which called on the NHS to prepare now for the rising number of older patients with more complex needs. Our blog post has more on the story.

NHS funding boost

The NHS in England will get an extra £20 billion a year by 2023, prime minister Theresa May announced this week. BBC News and the Independent covered the announcement, which would boost the NHS budget by an average of 3.4% each year. But some experts have said that the cash injection falls short of what’s needed in a letter to the prime minister, published in the Mirror. Our blog post has more on the story.

HPV cases fall after vaccine programme

BBC News covered new research showing a significant fall in the number of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Most people who are infected won’t develop cancer, but the virus is responsible for virtually all cases of cervical cancer. This shows the vaccine is successful at protecting against HPV infection.

The HPV vaccine has been offered to girls aged 11-13 on the NHS since 2008, but rumours were reported this week that the vaccination programme will soon be offered to boys as well. Mail Online and The Times (£) have the story.

New lung cancer drug combo tested in mice

A combination of targeted treatments slowed the growth of one type of lung cancer in mice. Scientists looked for drugs that could target a faulty gene found in some lung cancers. They found that combining one of these drugs with the targeted therapy trametinib helped mice with the faulty gene live longer. ITV News and The Guardian were quick to talk about the potential impact of the research, but as the drug has yet to be tested in people with lung cancer, it’s too early to say at this point.

Restrictions on breast cancer reconstructive surgery revealed

Some women with breast cancer are being denied reconstructive surgery on the NHS, reports the Telegraph and The Sun. Almost one in four NHS bodies in England have placed restrictions on when breast cancer patients can choose to have reconstructive surgery after treatment, according to documents accessed through a freedom of information request.

Pancreatic cancer survival may be worse than previously thought

Survival for the most common type of pancreatic cancer could be less than half of previous estimates, according to unpublished figures. The Times (£) and Telegraph covered the research, which looked at survival rates in England between 2010 and 2013. Researchers found that only 3 in 100 people with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas survive for more than five years.

Make ‘traffic light’ food labelling mandatory, says consumer group

The consumer group Which? has called for mandatory ‘traffic light’ food labelling to be introduced post-Brexit. They warned that inconsistencies in labelling on breakfast cereal could be misleading shoppers. BBC News and The Guardian have more on this one.

And finally

A drug called sodium thiosulphate halves the proportion of children who experience hearing loss caused by chemotherapy for liver cancer, according to new clinical trial results. The drug protected against hearing loss without reducing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, and is now being reviewed for a licence in Europe. BBC News and our blog post has the details.



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