Evidence
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Results from a routine blood test could help in early detection of cancer

Detecting cancer at the earliest opportunity can improve the chances of successful treatment.  New research suggests that a routine blood test could help find cancers early. Researchers have previously shown that high levels of platelets – cells in the blood that help stop bleeding – can be a sign of cancer. But now they have ...

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Tackling fear and misinformation may help increase hepatitis C testing in prison

Liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major public health burden. The World Health Organisation is aiming to eliminate HCV as a public health problem by 2030 and testing in prisons is central to this campaign. People entering prison are asked to have a test for blood-borne viruses including HCV, but ...

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More precise classification of risk in prostate cancer reveals a huge variation in treatment

A new study found a wide variation in how men with prostate cancer are managed in different hospitals. Current NICE guidelines recommend that prostate cancers are broadly classified into those at low, intermediate or high risk of spreading. A more precise system for classifying risk revealed that hospitals may have different approaches for managing men ...

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Cultural and language barriers need to be addressed for British-Pakistani women to benefit fully from breast screening

British-Pakistani women may need help to overcome cultural and language barriers if they are to fully take part in the NHS breast screening programme. Breast screening uses an X-ray test called a mammogram to spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. UK women aged 50 to 70 years receive an invitation ...

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Parents-to-be need to be prepared for receiving uncertain results from genetic tests

Parents-to-be are offered a range of tests to predict whether their baby is likely to have certain health conditions. Many are keen to have these pre-natal tests for reassurance. But sometimes the results are unclear, leaving parents to deal with uncertainty. New types of genetic tests look in detail at the baby’s genetic material (the ...

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Male prisoners develop unhealthy hearts at younger ages than people on the outside

The risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher among male prisoners than among men of the same age who live in the community. CVD affects the heart and blood vessels and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The largest European study of the heart health of prisoners found that more than one in ...

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Screening for lymphoedema after breast cancer surgery could identify women likely to benefit from compression sleeves

Some women having breast cancer surgery would benefit from screening to pick up lymphoedema (swelling of the arm that can become long-term). This can develop as a complication of surgery if lymph nodes are removed. Lymph nodes under the arm normally drain fluid from the breast. They may be removed during breast cancer surgery to ...

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Early warning scores used in hospitals must be based on sound science

Early warning scores have been used in UK hospitals since the late 1990s to minimise harm to patients. They are designed to highlight deterioration of a patient’s health using measurements of temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and other easily-measured signs.  Research has shown that changes in these signs could mean patients are at increased risk ...

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New tool for assessing the severity of type 2 diabetes could help personalise treatment and improve outcomes

A new severity scoring system for type 2 diabetes may be better at identifying patients at risk of declining health than the current commonly used blood test. The Diabetes Severity Score (DISSCO) is a computer algorithm that combines information routinely collected in primary care. Researchers found that a higher DISSCO score was linked to an ...

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Lung health checks in supermarket car parks reach older smokers in deprived communities

Tests carried out on mobile units parked in supermarket car parks were a popular and effective way to check the lungs of at-risk current and former smokers in a study in Manchester.     Simple tests of lung function in these mobile units found more than a third of those screened had evidence of airflow obstruction. This ...

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