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09/12/2014
Daily Telegraph
By: Presswatch
Early detection helps a record number beat cancer
The Daily Telegraph (Steven Swinford) reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce that more patients are surviving cancer than ever before thanks to earlier detection. Hunt will publish new figures which suggest that between 6,000 and 17,000 more patients are surviving cancer every year under the Coalition. Hunt will today say: ‘Helping more people survive cancer is a key priority for this Government, and it’s hugely welcome that we’re on track to meet our goal and save an extra 5,000 lives.’ However, there are still concerns that Britain’s cancer survival rates are lower than many developed countries, and that as many as 6,000 patients die of cancer because of the ‘postcode lottery’ and the variation in care quality across the country.
 
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09/12/2014
Daily Telegraph
By: Presswatch
Taking a pill could burn off excess fat
The Daily Telegraph (Sarah Knapton) reports that a pill which can burn off excess fat could one day ‘replace the treadmill’, scientists claim. Researchers at Harvard University discovered a molecule which makes the kind of fat associated with flabby stomachs easier to shift. Chad Cowan, one of the co-authors of the study which was published in Nature Cell Biology, said that ‘it’s the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill’. As well as helping people to lose weight, the drug would also reduce the chance of users developing Type 2 diabetes and would help protect them against heart disease.
 
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09/12/2014
Daily Telegraph
By: Presswatch
Flu Jab for pregnant women could cut deaths in childbirth
The Daily Telegraph (Staff) reports that pregnant women are being urged to have the flu jab in an attempt to cut the number of deaths giving birth in the UK. A study found that the number of women who died in childbirth has fallen, of those that did die; one in 11 had influenza, half of which could have been prevented by vaccination. Professor Marian Knight said: ‘Indirect deaths are the biggest area where we need to see some action. I cannot over emphasise the importance of flu vaccinations during pregnancy.’ The report found that maternal deaths dropped from 11 per 100,000 in 2006-2008, to 10 per 100,000 in 2010-2012.
 
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09/12/2014
Daily Telegraph
By: Presswatch
Jehovah’s Witness parents fail to halt son’s blood transfusion
The Daily Telegraph (staff) reports that the son of two devout Jehovah’s Witnesses can be given a blood transfusion despite religious objections from his parents, a High Court judge has ruled. Doctors told Mr Justice Moylan that the ‘very young’ boy had suffered severe burns and may need a blood transfusion. The judge concluded that the transfusion would be in the boy’s best interests in spite of the deeply religious views of his parents. Mr Justice Moylan said: ‘I am extremely grateful to [the boy’s] father for so calmly explaining to me the position held by himself and [the boy’s] mother. I have no doubt at all that they love their son dearly…I hope they will understand why I have reached the decision which I have, governed as it is by [their son’s] welfare.’
 
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09/12/2014
Financial Times
By: Presswatch
Merck pays $9.5bn for antibiotic maker

The Financial Times (David Crow) reports that the growing threat from deadly superbugs has prompted Merck to spend around $9.5bn to buy US biotech company, Cubist. ‘There is a huge unmet need in this area,’ said Merck chairman and chief executive Kenneth Frazier.
 
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09/12/2014
By: Presswatch
NHS and Health Sector News
The Daily Mirror (Nick Pritchard) reports that a woman who had £23,000 of weight loss surgery on the NHS now wants a boob job funded by the taxpayer. Beckie Lawton, who weighed 30 stone at her heaviest, first received a gastric band at a cost of £9,000 to the taxpayer, and then underwent a £14,000 ‘tummy tuck’ operation. She is now applying to the NHS to have an operation to reshape her breasts, which would cost around £4,000. Lawton said: ‘I’ve lost the weight I wanted, but I need procedures to deal with the way my body has changed. I have worked since I was 15, paying tax and national insurance, so I have a right to have these operations.’
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The Daily Mail (staff) reports that with GP clinics struggling with overloaded appointment systems, many patients are simply bypassing them and going straight to A&E, and in doing so interfering with the care of others more seriously ill than they are. As a result emergency rooms across the country are overwhelmed, with some patients having to wait more than 24-hours to see a doctor. In many situations a GP is capable of helping a patient without the need for treatment. One solution, which is backed by the College of Emergency Medicine, is to open urgent care centres, staffed by GPs in A&E departments. This would free up emergency staff to deal with those that need them, and enable patients who need an experienced GP to see one.
 
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