Skip to main content

Together we are beating cancer

Donate now
  • Science & Technology
  • Health & Medicine

News digest – HRT and breast cancer risk, a billion fewer cigarettes and misunderstanding around HPV

by Ethan Meyers | Analysis

31 August 2019

0 comments 0 comments

Cigarette burning

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) linked to longer breast cancer risk

The Guardian covered new research looking at the link between HRT, which is used to relieve menopause symptoms, and the risk of breast cancer. The fact that HRT raises the risk of breast cancer is not new, but this study found the risk may persist for longer after stopping HRT than was previously thought. The increased risk was associated with almost all types of HRT and experts said it’s important for women to know the risks of HRT when deciding if taking it is right for them.

More than a billion fewer cigarettes smoked each year in England

The number of cigarettes smoked each month in England fell by nearly a quarter between 2011 and 2018. That equates to around 118 million fewer cigarettes being smoked every month. This incredibly positive news was reported by the BBC, The Guardian, Mail Online as well as other news outlets. For the full story, check out our press release.

Survey reveals more public misunderstanding about HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer

A new YouGov survey of 1,500 women found that almost half mistakenly believe they’re not at risk of getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) if they’re in a long-term relationship. But HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer, can be dormant for many years. Most of the time HPV won’t cause any problems and will get better on its own, but being in a relationship doesn’t remove the risk of getting infected. The findings follow survey results from earlier this year showing that myths and stigma surrounding HPV could put some people off cervical cancer screening. Experts say the misinformation and stigma around HPV needs to be tackled, as ITV News reports.

Lack of NHS funding a fear for bosses

According the The Guardian, 82% of chief executives and chief finance officers in the NHS think that the lack of NHS capital funding is putting patients in danger. Hospitals have reported being unable to fix leaky roofs, broken boilers and faulty scanners. And there’s a broader concern about the lack of scanners and diagnostic equipment. The NHS 10-year plan committed to delivering new scanners to help diagnose patients earlier, but the Government needs to invest more if they’re to achieve this.

Advertising industry hits back at plans to ban junk food adverts before 9pm

With a new Prime Minister in office, the advertising industry is lobbying to against proposals to ban junk food adverts before 9pm, reports iNews. The proposal was put forward under former Prime Minister Theresa May, as part of plans to help reduce levels of childhood obesity. We’ve blogged before about why regulating junk food marketing is so important, as well as speaking to a former junk food ad exec about tactics the ad industry use when marketing to children.

Researchers encourage government to print ‘smoking kills’ on every cigarette

Researchers in Scotland found that printing ‘smoking kills’ on every cigarette puts some people off, The Times (£) and Huffington Post reports. The tactic was particularly effective amongst young people, non-smokers and those who had just started smoking.

iKnife being used to test for endometrial cancer

The iKnife is a piece of surgical equipment designed to sniff out cancer. We’ve blogged about the innovative instrument before, which is currently being tested in ovarian and breast cancer. Now, the Evening Standard reports that a team at Imperial College London is testing the iKnife to see if it can accurately detect womb cancers too.

And finally…

An NHS survey of students aged 11-15 revealed that 16 in 100 said they had smoked at least once in the last year, down from 19 in 100 in 2016. It’s the lowest level ever recorded in this survey, which is done every two years. The Evening Standard has this one.