Skip to main content

Together we are beating cancer

Donate now
  • Science & Technology
  • Health & Medicine

News digest – global cancer rates rising, vaping figures, crowdfunding for cancer treatments and BRCA1 gene sleuthing

by Katie Roberts | Analysis

15 September 2018

0 comments 0 comments

Latest figures reveal global cancer rates rising

New figures predict there will be 18.1 million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2018. The Guardian and BBC News covered the latest estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which also show that lung cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in women in 28 countries, including the UK.

Number of vapers in Britain tops 3 million

The number of vapers in Great Britain has risen above 3 million for the first time, according to a new survey by Action on Smoking and Health. Most vapers use the devices because they have quit smoking. BBC News and our News Report have more.

Rise in crowdfunding for unproven cancer treatments

Appeals on UK crowdfunding sites have raised more than £8 million for unproven cancer treatments, according to new figures published by The BMJ. The report warns that while some of the funding goes to experimental but potentially credible treatment, a lot of money is spent on alternative or complementary cancer treatments that have no proven benefits and may even cause harm. BBC News covered the latest figures and some of unproven treatments on sale.

Survey reveals misunderstanding around HPV

One in three women don’t know what the human papillomavirus (HPV) is, and almost 2 in 3 women thought infection with the virus meant they had cancer, according to a new survey of 2000 women by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. BBC News covered the results, which highlight some of the myths surrounding HPV. To get the facts about HPV, head to our website.

Middle-aged people urged to have ‘drink-free’ days by new campaign

A new “Drink Free Days” campaign by Public Health England and DrinkAware is encouraging people aged 45 to 65 to have regular days off from drinking alcohol, reports the Independent. This group were found to be the most likely to exceed Government alcohol guidelines of no more than 14 units per week in a YouGov poll.

But Public Health England has been criticised for partnering with DrinkAware, a charity that receives funding from the alcohol industry, on the new campaign. BBC News has more.

NHS staff shortages in England worsening

One in 11 NHS staff posts is vacant in England, reports BBC News. The latest figures cover April to June this year and show that the percentage of vacant posts have risen slightly since this time last year.

Scottish Health Minister apologises for breast screening invitation error

The Scottish National Party’s new Health Minister, Jeane Freeman, apologised this week after a computer error meant 1,800 women weren’t invited to their final breast cancer screen. The Telegraph (£) and Express have more. Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, called the announcement “worrying”, but said it was important not to cause undue anxiety.

Calorie labels could be added to all menus in England

New Government plans could see calories labels added to all menu items in restaurants, cafes and takeaways. The Guardian covered the announcement, which is part of the Government’s strategy to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

And finally

While some faults in the BRCA1 gene increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, others are thought to be safe. But the effects of most of the thousands of documented changes in this gene aren’t known, making it difficult for both doctors and patients to interpret DNA sequencing results. A huge genetic analysis in lab-grown cells could change that. US Scientists deliberately caused almost 4,000 individual faults in the BRCA1 gene and tracked how each change affected cell survival. Only 1 in 5 changes affected the BRCA1 protein’s ability to do its job properly, which suggests these faults might be the ones that increase cancer risk. STAT News and Nature took an in depth look at the findings.