PHE Cancer Board Plan

 Public Health England (PHE) has published PHE Cancer Board Plan 2017 – 2021 a plan for PHE staff.  This internal plan outlines PHE’s approach to co-ordinating PHE’s cancer work for the next five years. It highlights how PHE will work in partnership with others to achieve the recommendations.

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Eating plenty of wholegrains cuts your risk of bowel cancer‏

Wholegrains and bowel cancer – what you need to know | CRUK

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Eating plenty of wholegrains cuts your risk of bowel cancer, according to a new report. And it seems we can reap the benefits without making wild changes to our diets .

The news comes from a report produced by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), outlining the latest evidence on how we can reduce our risk of bowel cancer.

It focusses on the effects of diet, weight, physical activity and alcohol on bowel cancer risk. And with bowel cancer being the fourth most common cancer in the UK, finding ways to reduce our risk of the disease are important.

The WCRF studies all the evidence on a potential cause of cancer and decides whether that evidence is strong enough to support recommendations on ways we can reduce our risk.

How the alcohol industry mislead the public about alcohol and cancer

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of several types of cancer, including several common cancers | Drug and Alcohol Review

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As part of their corporate social responsibility activities, the alcohol industry (AI) disseminates information about alcohol and cancer. We examined the information on this which the AI disseminates to the public through its ‘social aspects and public relations organizations’ and related bodies. The aim of the study was to determine its comprehensiveness and accuracy.

Most of the organisations were found to disseminate misrepresentations of the evidence about the association between alcohol and cancer. Three main industry strategies were identified:

  1.  denial/omission: denying, omitting or disputing the evidence that alcohol consumption increases cancer risk.
  2. distortion: mentioning cancer, but misrepresenting the risk.
  3. distraction: focussing discussion away from the independent effects of alcohol on common cancers. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer appeared to be a particular focus for this misrepresentation.

Full reference: Petticrew, M. et al. (2017) How alcohol industry organisations mislead the public about alcohol and cancer. Drug and Alcohol Review. Published online: 7 Septmeber 2017

New device accurately identifies cancer in seconds

Handheld device can identify cancerous tissue in 10 seconds, with 96% accuracy. | story via ScienceDaily

A team of scientists at The University of Texas has invented a handheld device that quickly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds. The MasSpec Pen is a handheld instrument that gives surgeons precise diagnostic information about what tissue to cut or preserve, helping improve treatment and reduce the chances of cancer recurrence.

In tests on tissues removed from 253 human cancer patients, the MasSpec Pen took about 10 seconds to provide a diagnosis and was more than 96 percent accurate. The technology was also able to detect cancer in marginal regions between normal and cancer tissues that presented mixed cellular composition. The team expects to start testing this new technology during oncologic surgeries in 2018.

Full story at ScienceDaily

See also: BBC News: ‘Pen’ identifies cancer in 10 seconds

Full reference: Zhang, J. et al. Nondestructive tissue analysis for ex vivo and in vivo cancer diagnosis using a handheld mass spectrometry system  Science Translational Medicine 06 Sep 2017: Vol. 9, Issue 406

 

NHS workforce pressures undermining cancer care : Macmillan poll

More than half of GPs and nurses fear that soaring workload means the NHS workforce is no longer able to provide adequate care to cancer patients, according to polling by charity Macmillan Cancer Support. | story via GP Online

A total of 52% of 250 GPs and nurses polled by the cancer charity said they were not confident that cancer patients could be offered the care they needed given current pressures on the NHS.

More than a third warned that some cancer patients are going to A&E because treatment is not available in the community. Some 44% of GPs and nurses said cancer was not being picked up as early as it should be and 31% said paitents were not receiving the care they needed after cancer treatment because of pressures on the NHS workforce.

Respondents to the poll cited growing numbers of patients, more complex workloads and growing problems with gaps or vacancies as their top concerns about the healthcare workforce.

Full report: From the frontline: Workforce pressures in the NHS

See also: Macmillan press release

Read the full story at GP Online

 

Making cervical screening more accessible

Attendance for cervical screening has been falling year on year. This professional resource from Public Health England aims to address this decline in attendance by presenting recommendations that can help increase access to screening and awareness of cervical cancer.

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Image source: http://www.gov.uk

Download the infographics, references and a shorter version of this publication here

Bowel cancer deaths drop by a third in 20 years

The rate of people dying from bowel cancer in the UK has plummeted by more than 30 per cent in the last 20 years | Cancer Research UK 

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Image source: CRUK 

Bowel cancer was responsible for 38 deaths per 100,000 people in 1995, falling to 26 deaths per 100,000 people by 2015. The drop in rates, taking into account changing population figures, equates to a decrease in bowel cancer deaths from 17,600 in 1995 to 15,800 in 2015.

Experts believe better treatment lies behind the dramatic drop in deaths. Improved public awareness among both patients and doctors, the bowel screening programme, may also be playing a part.

Read the full blog post here