Tuesday 29 January 2013

Bowel-cancer screening pilot to begin in England

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to announce pilots of a bowel-cancer screening programme that could save 3,000 lives a year.

From March, Norwich, South of Tyne, St Mark's London, Surrey, West Kent and Wolverhampton NHS trusts will offer screening to everyone aged over 55.

The screening involves a thin, bendy tube with a camera attached being placed into the rectum and lower bowel.

Currently, those aged 60-69 in England are offered faecal occult blood tests.

If any blood is found in the faeces, the person will be invited for further tests - usually a colonoscopy, where a thin, flexible tube with a camera is guided along the entire length of the large bowel.

The new screening will invite younger, symptomless patients to have a similar camera check, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, of the lower part of their large bowel to look for any abnormal growths.

Screening in this way allows doctors to remove growths that might otherwise turn in to cancer and treat any cancers already present.

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Scientists develop rear-view mirror to spot bowel cancer

Scientists have developed a new device that works like a ‘rear-view mirror’ for the surgeon during bowel examinations, helping to detect 25 per cent more abnormalities.

Bowel cancer is Britain’s third most common cancer, with 40,000 new diagnoses a year.
The disease also claims 16,000 lives a year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death.

The Third Eye Retroscope is used along with a standard colonoscope to improve detection

That’s because, although the disease is treatable if detected early, 90 per cent of patients are diagnosed once the cancer is advanced, often because they are too embarrassed to seek medical help.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, blood in the stools and unexpected weight loss.

To look for the early warning signs of bowel cancer, thousands of patients a year undergo a colonoscopy.

This 30-minute out-patient procedure, often carried out under sedation, involves a colonoscope — a thin, bendy tube with a video camera and light on the end of it — being inserted into the bowel.

Monday 21 January 2013

Half Of Men To Get Cancer By 2027, Experts Predicts

Half of all British men are likely to be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime by the year 2027, experts predict.
Men in the UK currently have a 44% chance of developing the disease.
Women's risk is also expected to increase from 40% to 44% in the next 15 years.
The better news is that proportionally fewer people are likely to be dying of cancer thanks to improved methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Over the last 40 years, cancer survival has doubled, figures show.
The projections, from Cancer Research UK, are based on past incidence and death rates and assume a continuation of trends.

They do not take into account new forms of treatment, lifestyle and environmental changes that might alter future cancer rates.
Age is the biggest risk factor for cancer and the increase in incident rates largely reflect the fact that people are living longer, said the charity.
The cancers set to affect people most in the next 15 years are prostate, bowel and melanoma (skin).
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'Promising results' for bowel cancer breath-test

Scientists say they have developed a breath-test that can accurately tell if a person has bowel cancer.
The test, which looks for exhaled chemicals linked to tumour activity, was able to identify a majority of patients with the disease.
The British Journal of Surgery reported an overall accuracy of 76%.
However, another scientist said it was unlikely a fully functioning and reliable breath-test would be available soon for the general public.
Scientists are working on breath-tests for a host of other diseases, including several types of cancer, TB and diabetes.
If diagnosed and treated early, the chances of stopping cancer can be good, but there is often little or no outward sign of the disease until it has progressed significantly.
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Tuesday 15 January 2013

Wine Compound May Halt Bowel Cancer

Red Wine

One large glass of wine a day could contain enough of a tumour-fighting compound to prevent bowel cancer, research suggests.

The plant chemical, resveratrol, is found in the skins of grapes and concentrated in red wine.

Scientists have long known that resveratrol has anti-cancer properties, as well as effects that might benefit diabetes and heart disease patients. But a question mark remains over what dose of the compound it is best to take.

The new research suggests that to fight bowel cancer, only a small amount of the compound is required - around five milligrams per day. That is about the amount of resveratrol typically found in one large glass of red wine, or two small glasses.

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Inherited colon cancer risk tied to certain foods

Among people who have a genetic susceptibility to colon cancer, those whose diets are heavy in junk food have an even higher risk, according to a new study.

"These patients have this very high risk because of this (genetic) mutation they have, but it might be that they could reduce the number of (tumors) by having a more healthy lifestyle," said Akke Botma, the lead author of the study.

Botma's study is just the first to find a link between certain foods and a higher colon cancer risk in this group, and it can't prove that the diet is to blame.

All of the people in the study had Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder that predisposes people to cancer at younger ages and that affects up to one in 660 people.

In Western countries, colorectal and endometrial cancers are the dominant cancers to turn up in people with the syndrome, while in Asia it's mostly stomach cancer, Botma said.

Up to 70 percent of people with Lynch syndrome will develop colon cancer. Among people without Lynch syndrome, such cancers are thought to be influenced by diet, particularly alcohol and red and processed meat, the authors note in their study, published in the journal Cancer.

Botma and her colleagues at Wageningen University in the Netherlands contacted 486 people with Lynch syndrome from a national database of families with inherited risks for cancer.

At the beginning of the study they surveyed the participants about what they ate, and they ranked each person on whether he ate low, medium or high amounts of foods within four dietary categories.

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Friday 11 January 2013

One in five bowel cancer patients diagnosed in an emergency

Many bowel cancer patients are first diagnosed in an emergency setting, when they have severe and potentially life-threatening conditions, figures show.

There are 29,000 bowel cancer patients diagnosed each year in England and Wales. One in five of these is admitted as an emergency, according to the National Bowel Cancer Audit.

Nearly a third of those diagnosed through the emergency route were not offered surgery because their cancer was already too advanced to be operated on.

The proportion of bowel cancer patients who die following major surgery has fallen for the fourth consecutive year.

But more patients operated on in an emergency died within 90 days of having surgery (11.9 per cent) compared with the number of all bowel cancer patients who died within 90 days of surgery (5.1 per cent).
More needs to be done to raise awareness about the disease to ensure more people are diagnosed earlier, say experts.

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Two bowel cancer genes discovered

Bowel cancer cell 

UK researchers believe they have explained why some families are incredibly vulnerable to bowel cancer.
They have found two genes, which are passed from parent to child, that greatly increase the risk of a tumour forming.

The study, published in Nature Genetics, analysed DNA from 20 people with a strong family history.
The findings could be used to develop a test to judge someone's risk of the disease.

One of the people who took part in the study, Joe Wiegand from Hampshire, was diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 28. Most of his colon had to be removed.

"There's a very strong history of bowel cancer in my family - my dad's mother and sister both had it, my dad was diagnosed with it at 43 and a few cousins have had bowel cancers and brain tumours.

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