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News digest – NHS to fund personalised immunotherapy, bowel cancer screening, worldwide inactivity and living with a brain tumour

by Gabriella Beer | Analysis

8 September 2018

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T cell
T cells are important fighters against disease.

NHS England to fund children’s personalised blood cancer therapy

The NHS in England will fund a type of immunotherapy for children with a certain type of blood cancer. The BBC reports that the immune-boosting treatment will be available to people under the age of 25 for whom standard treatment hasn’t worked or whose cancer has come back. We also covered this.

Lack of radiologists costing NHS millions

We covered the news that the NHS is spending millions of pounds outsourcing radiologists in an attempt to plug staff shortages.

Fall in second hand smoke exposure

Exposure to second hand cigarette smoke in Scotland has dramatically decreased in the last 20 years, according to a new study. Read ITV News for the details.

And the chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie, says England should be smoke-free by 2030, reports the Mail Online. NHS data shows that 15% of people in England currently smoke.

Bowel cancer screening participation drops

The number of people who complete and return a bowel screening test kit each year in England has dropped, reports the Mail Online. A new study, funded by Cancer Research UK, found that the number of people aged 60 to 64 who completed their bowel cancer test kit following their first invitation fell from 53% in 2010 to 49% in 2015.

Spike in prostate cancer test requests link to Stephen Fry

An NHS director has linked Stephen Fry’s decision to speak publicly about his diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer to a spike in referrals for tests that may have affected waiting times. The Mail Online and the Telegraph have more on this one.

WHO expresses concern over worldwide inactivity

A new report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 1 in 4 people worldwide aren’t active enough. 1.4 billion people aren’t doing enough physical activity, reports the BBC. Inactivity increases the risk of developing several health problems, including cancer.

Low income families struggle to buy healthy foods

Nearly 4 million children in the UK are too poor to follow a healthy diet, reports the Guardian. Research by a thinktank suggests that a significant number of parents don’t have sufficient income to buy enough healthy foods to meet nutritional recommendations. They estimate the poorest fifth of families would have to set aside 40% of their weekly income to meet these guidelines.

More people willing to share health data with NHS

Brits are warming up to the idea of sharing their health data with the NHS, says the Telegraph. The findings come from a report that also suggests more than half of Britons believe that artificial intelligence could improve NHS services.

Our chief clinician on cancer risk

In iNews, our chief clinician, Professor Charlie Swanton, explains why cancer isn’t a modern, man-made disease.

Major operations cancelled on day of procedure

One in seven major operations carried out in March 2017 were cancelled on the day of surgery, reports the BBC. This included surgeries to remove cancer.

And finally

STAT News follows a family affected by an aggressive brain tumour. This honest, hard-hitting account covers the day to day realities of living with such a devastating disease.