Daily digest July 21 2015

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Why night shifts raise cancer risk: Increased levels of sex hormones at the 'wrong' time may be to blame 

People who work night shifts may be more at risk of breast or prostate cancer because of hormonal changes.

Night shift work has previously been linked to a raised cancer risk, but it wasn't clear why. Now a study by the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona suggests increased levels of sex hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone, at the 'wrong' time may be to blame.

More than 100 people who worked different shifts gave urine samples across a 24-hour period and their hormone levels were measured. Night workers were found to have significantly higher levels of sex hormones at the wrong time, such as testosterone peaking between 10am and 2pm, rather than between 6am and 10am.

Read more on the Mail Online

Jeremy Hunt asked to explain why Government has 'chosen to ignore' results of lung cancer awareness campaign

Doctors and nurses have written an open letter to health secretary Jeremy Hunt asking why the government has 'chosen to ignore' the positive results of a lung cancer awareness campaign and not announce a follow-up.

Clinicians are calling on the government to restart the Be Clear on Cancer campaign immediately so that more lives can be saved.

The campaign, which was aimed at the over-50s and launched on a national scale in 2012, aimed to raise public awareness of persistent cough as a symptom of the disease.  

During the campaign period, there was a 9% increase in lung cancer diagnoses, and the number of over-50s going to see their doctor with a cough increased by 63%.

Read more on the Independent website

Scandal of patients sent home too early

The misery endured by patients because of the NHS’s 'revolving door' policy of early discharge and emergency re-admission, is exposed for the first time today in a scathing report.

One million NHS patients are re-admitted to hospital as emergency cases within 30 days of discharge because they are being 'rushed out of the door' too quickly, at a cost of £2.4 billion per year.

Healthwatch England said it had gathered 'thousands of shocking stories' about patients being sent home without the right care and support. They included a mentally ill man discharged after a suicide attempt with no follow-up care who killed himself a week later.

The NHS’s official watchdog concluded that 'an undercurrent of ageism' persists within the NHS, and that some of the most vulnerable people in society – pensioners, the homeless and the mentally ill – are being badly let down.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website

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