Doctor looking at the results of a scan

Cancer screening review calls for more flexible screening hours, among other things

This week a review of cancer screening programmes by the former National Cancer Director, Sir Mike Richards, was published. Many news outlets focused on recommendations to make screening fit in with people’s increasingly busy lifestyles, by allowing screening appointments to be made on weekends and during lunch breaks. Other recommendations in the review included reuniting responsibility for screening programmes in England under a single organisation and improving IT to reduce screening errors, as our blog post explains.

Ban on junk food advertising coming to Wales

A new document published this week, outlined a new strategy titled Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales, which aims to reduce obesity levels. Some of the measures outlined include banning junk food advertising in many public places and at sporting events, and taking action against hot food takeaways and promotions on junk food near schools. Experts praised the “bold action” from the Welsh Government, but warned that the strategy had to be delivered as promised. Wales Online has the story.

Exercise may help with cancer treatment

A study this week, reported by The New York Times, found that exercise should be prescribed like medicine for some cancer patients and could even act as a preventative measure against cancer. The report suggests that exercise can help lower the risk of developing kidney, bladder, breast, colon, stomach, endometrial and oesophageal cancers. And exercise seemed to reduce people with cancer’s feelings of anxiety and improve fatigue. We’ve looked at the benefits of exercise with cancer before, in our blog post.

New survey shows continuing pressure on NHS systems

New survey results have revealed ongoing problems with rota gaps, unfilled posts and high levels of sickness absence in the NHS. The survey from the Royal Colleges of Physicians in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow further highlights the intense pressures the NHS is coming under and was well summarised in PharmaTimes.

Lack of diagnostic scanners causing problems on the NHS

A new study from the UK Lung Cancer Coalition found there aren’t enough scanners for staff to use, which could be delaying diagnosis and treatment. The report also highlighted the extent of NHS staff shortages – in the UK there are seven radiologists per 100,000 people, much less than the EU average of 12. ITV news has this one.

New breast cancer drug made available on the NHS in England

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of a targeted drug, neratinib (Nerlynx), for some people with early breast cancer on the NHS in England. Our news report provides all you need to know about the approval, who it’s for and the potential side effects.

Gene testing kit 23andMe comes under fire from competitors

23andMe, a genetic test that can be bought online, has been criticised by competitors at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. Representatives from Invitae warned the test could be giving false reassurance to some people, by missing some DNA faults linked to cancer. But 23andMe have hit back at the “misleading characterisation”, you can read the full debate in The Guardian or STATNews.

And finally

Reported by The New York Times and Newsweek, a review of 58 studies found that people with psoriasis had an increased risk of some types of cancer. But there are a lot of questions remaining. The authors of the study acknowledge that smoking, obesity and drinking lots of alcohol, which we know can cause cancer, have all been shown to be more common in people with psoriasis, which may be muddying the water when it comes to assessing risk. Researchers need to make sure these other factors aren’t playing a role before they can be confident that there’s a direct link.