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Daily digest July 8 2015

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Daily digest

Study casts doubt on breast cancer testing

Internationally renowned cancer experts have cast fresh doubt on the benefits of breast cancer screening programmes, warning that they save fewer lives than previously thought, The Guardian has reported.

Leading cancer epidemiologists have gone back to trials carried out in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s, which provided the evidence on which the UK and other screening programmes were based and which found that screening could prevent 20-25% of breast cancer deaths.

In a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the experts say the methodology of the study was wrong and the figure is far too high, believing instead that any reduction of deaths is probably less than 10%.

Read more on The Guardian website

Study casts doubt on breast cancer testing

Internationally renowned cancer experts have cast fresh doubt on the benefits of breast cancer screening programmes, warning that they save fewer lives than previously thought, The Guardian has reported.

Leading cancer epidemiologists have gone back to trials carried out in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s, which provided the evidence on which the UK and other screening programmes were based and which found that screening could prevent 20-25% of breast cancer deaths.

In a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the experts say the methodology of the study was wrong and the figure is far too high, believing instead that any reduction of deaths is probably less than 10%.

Read more on The Guardian website

Rise in Viagra use puts prescriptions up by a quarter

Prescriptions for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs have soared by more than a quarter in England over 12 months.

As reported in the Daily Mirror, in 2014 there were more than 1.7 million prescriptions made out for sildenafil, commonly sold as Viagra but also under other names, and this is up from 1.4 million in 2013 and a million in 2004.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre said prescriptions for drugs to treat depression, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic attacks have also risen.

Read more on the Mirror website

Parkinson’s drug found to promote risk-taking behaviour

A drug commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease has been shown in experiments on healthy volunteers to increase the kind of risk taking associated with compulsive gambling, The Independent has reported.

The drug levodopa or L-dopa, which is prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s, has already been linked with changes in compulsive behaviour and now a study has shown that it increases feelings of happiness when somebody wins money in a game of chance.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience and led by Robb Rutledge of University College London, found that when healthy people are given levodopa under experimental conditions they are more likely to take more risks than they otherwise would when it comes to gambling for rewards – but not when the gambling involves potential losses.

Read more on The Independent website

World Health Organisation is 'unfit to deal with global emergencies', says damning report

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is ‘culturally’ unfit to deal with global emergencies, an independent review has found in the wake of the Ebola crisis.

Experts called for a fundamental overhaul of the body, a branch of the United Nations, which was severely criticised for its failure to deal with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa last year, the Daily Mail has reported.

A panel chaired by Dame Barbara Stocking, former CEO of Oxfam GB, found that the episode exposed serious problems within the structure of the WHO and the actions of those it employed.

Read more on the Mail Online website

 

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