3,000 to 4,000 cancer deaths a year could be prevented by lung cancer CT screening programmes, beyond current lung health checks, writes Professor Charles Swanton. Lung cancer CT scan Credit: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
Healthy cells can replenish lungs after someone quits
New findings from our Grand Challenge researchers have revealed that quitting smoking can do much more than preventing further damage to someone’s lungs. It can also allow new, healthy cells to grow, which are much less likely to develop into cancer. BBC News and our press release have more.
NHS staff shortages mean people miss out on early bowel cancer diagnosis
Our latest calculations reveal that around 1,100 people each year in England could be missing out on an early stage bowel cancer diagnosis through screening. And it could be down to a shortage of endoscopists, nurses and other specialist staff, as our press release explains. The Guardian has this one.
FIT tests are used to look for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of bowel cancer. NHS England lacks staff resources to follow-up on all early-screening. The Gov needs to significantly invest in the NHS, to diagnose at an earlier stage: https://t.co/PJZbItpFP5 pic.twitter.com/RWXq7dbDxk
— Cancer Research UK (@CR_UK) January 28, 2020
What happens after Brexit?
It’s dominated UK politics for almost 4 years, and now that Brexit day is here the question becomes – what happens next? Our blog post looks at the key issues that need to be prioritised during post-Brexit talks for cancer treatment, care and research.
GPs urged to be alert to potential lung cancer symptoms
GPs are being urged to consider shortness of breath and coughs as potential lung cancer symptoms. Mail Online picked up on the latest findings, which suggest that coughing and breathlessness are increasingly the primary reported symptoms of the disease. Experts said that while most people with these symptoms will not have lung cancer, it’s well worth letting your GP decide if you need tests.
In related news, more than half of people with lung cancer are only being diagnosed after they visit A&E. The UK Lung Cancer Coalition used the figures to highlight the importance of people talk to their doctor if they have unusual symptoms, like a persistent cough. The Guardian has this one.
Prostate now the most common cancer in England
Prostate cancer became the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England in 2018, overtaking breast cancer for the first time. Public health officials have credited the rise in diagnoses to prominent figures like Stephen Fry who have spoken publicly about their experiences. But it’s not yet clear how many of these new cancers may have been overdiagnosed. BBC News and The Times (£) have the latest figures.
Cervical cancer vaccine could save millions of lives
Over 60 million deaths could be avoided in the next 100 years if HPV vaccinations, cervical screenings and cancer treatments were rolled out in 78 of the world’s poorest countries. The Guardian picked up the latest predictions.
Targeted lung screening saves lives
Long awaited results from a lung screening trial reveal that offering CT scans to people at high risk of lung cancer reduces deaths from the disease. Lung cancer deaths were 24% lower in men who had a CT scan as part of the targeted screening programme, and the findings suggest a favourable balance of benefits and harms. The BMJ and Wall Street Journal (£) picked up the latest findings, and you can read more about lung screening in our blog post.
The case for rebranding ‘breast cancer genes’
BBC Future asks the question – should breast cancer genes be rebranded to encourage more men to get tested?
New figures from the Institute of Cancer Research reveal that it can take up to 22 years for innovative drugs to be made available on the NHS. But while the data led to some startling headlines, it doesn’t paint an up-to-date picture. The National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) – who decide which drugs should be made available on the NHS – reformed their assessment process in 2016 to make life-extending treatments available as quickly as possible.
Scarlett Sangster is a writer for PA Media Group
Mrs susannah jackson February 9, 2020
Really interesting news and all the hard work you all do researching fantastic and well done for all your hard work
Teddy February 3, 2020
I am a 57 year old female non-smoker – I gave up smoking 15 years ago. I was diagnosed with stage 3b lung cancer last year. My doctor did not pick up in the signs – mainly coughing. He was a locum and he decided to send the practice nurse to be trained in breathing tests (note that these do not give a real indication of cancer as my results were excellent). This delay took some months – if only he had sent me for an Xray instead of wasting time – it could have been the difference between a stage 2 and stage 3 diagnosis. Doctors need to be better educated – half the problem is that doctors often ignore or are slow to react, which impacts the patients potential life span.