Daily digest August 5 2015

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Cancer survival in Britain lags behind Australia

Cancer survival rates in Britain are up to one third lower than in countries such as Australia, a major study has found.

Experts say late diagnosis and variable access to treatments mean survival rates are trailing at least a decade behind countries with similar healthcare systems.

Researchers compared the lifespans of around four million patients with bowel, breast, lung, ovarian and stomach cancer in England, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, between 1995 and 2012.

Of the six countries, England had the lowest cancer survival rate, while Australia and Sweden had the highest. Overall, the proportion of patients living for five years after diagnosis was 5-12% lower in England than it was in Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden.

For some cancers, the gap was wider still, the research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Contraceptive pill gives long-term protection against uterine cancer

Taking the pill protects a woman against uterine cancer for up to five decades, research shows.

Those who use the pill for five years in their twenties are far less likely to develop the illness in their fifties, sixties or seventies, according to the study.

Oxford academics calculate that for every five years on the pill, the risk of womb cancer goes down by a quarter.

They also estimate that the contraceptive pill has prevented around 200,000 cases of the illness in the western world in the past decade.

Read more on the Mail Online

Eating spicy food cuts risk of death, researchers say

A spicy ingredient found in Britain’s favourite takeaway food appears to cut the risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems.

Those who regularly eat spicy foods such as curries have up to a 14% reduced risk of death, according to researchers.

The healing properties of fresh chilli peppers – and particularly the heat-producing component capsaicin – are thought to be behind the results of the decade-long study.

Harvard School of Public Health associate professor Lu Qi said: ‘Compared with non-fresh spicy foods such as dried chilli pepper, chilli sauce or chilli oil, fresh chilli pepper is richer in bioactive ingredients, including capsaicin, vitamin C, and other nutrients such as vitamin A, K, and B6 and potassium.’

Read more on the Express website

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