Soft drink cans

Soft drink cans

Potential link between sugary drinks and cancer

A new study suggests there may be a link between consuming sugary drinks and a slight raised risk of cancer, even after taking weight into account. Researchers found that for every 1,000 people in their study, there were 22 cancers diagnosed over an average of 5 years. This increased to 26 cancers per 1,000 people in those who drank an extra 100ml of sugary drink per day. This reinforces that cutting down on sugary drinks, including fruit juice, is a good idea. But more research is needed to show if there is a direct link and if so, what is behind it.

HPV vaccination could prevent over 100,000 cancers

The Guardian reports on the plans to vaccinate boys aged 12 and 13 in England against HPV from this September. New research predicts that the HPV vaccination programme could prevent over 100,000 cancer cases in the UK over a period of 50 years, almost 29,000 of which would occur in men.

Funding boost to tackle obesity in Scotland

The Scottish Government has allocated £1.7 million to fund initiatives aimed at halving the number of under 18s who are overweight by 2030. The BBC says the money will be prioritised in areas of low income to tackle health inequality.

Government plans for a smokefree UK leaked

The Mail Online has leaked Government plans to make the UK smokefree by 2030. Draft proposals include making tobacco companies pay for services to help people to stop smoking while another proposes putting stop smoking leaflets in cigarette packs.

Make up of vagina bacteria could flag ovarian cancer risk

Scientists at University College London have shown a potential link between a lack of certain ‘good’ bacteria in the vagina and a person’s risk of developing ovarian cancer. It’s still too soon to act on this finding as there’s still so much we don’t know about these microbes. Watch this video for more on the microbiome and how it’s linked to cancer.

NHS teams up with Amazon’s Alexa

The NHS has teamed up with Amazon’s Alexa in a bid to make its health information more accessible, reports the Guardian. Smart devices will now be able to answer questions like ‘Alexa, what are the symptoms of the flu?’ using the same patient information found online.

Non-Hispanic black women have increased aggressive breast cancer risk

Non-Hispanic black women are more than twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer, reports Reuters. The same study also found that women under 40 were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with this specific disease compared to those aged 50 to 64.

Phone app highlights molecules useful for cancer research

An app that uses the processing power of a mobile phone while it’s on standby has found molecules that could be of interest for cancer research. The app’s algorithm measured the properties of more than 8,000 everyday foods against a database, looking for molecules that have successfully killed cancer cells in lab tests using cell cultures or animals. It’s a fascinating use of technology, but there’s a long way to go until these findings could help develop new treatments.

Three new cancer treatments available for NHS patients in Scotland

A breast cancer drug and two blood cancer treatments have been recommended for use on the NHS in Scotland. But a melanoma drug was rejected because it wasn’t deemed cost effective. We covered the latest decisions from Scottish Medicines Consortium.

‘My proton beam therapy video diary’

The BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, has recorded his proton beam therapy treatment for a type of melanoma in the eye. Follow his video diary to see the machinery at work.

And finally

If you’re wondering what to watch this weekend we recommend this powerful feature-length BBC Two documentary. It follows two patients taking part in the ‘first in-human’ trials for a type of personalised immunotherapy called CAR T cell therapy. And also stars a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist who is pioneering these new treatments.