Evidence
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New screening pathways could improve NHS England’s bowel cancer programme

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is treatable and curable if caught early. NHS England’s Bowel Cancer Screening Programme aims to find warning signs in people aged 60 to 74. They are invited to take a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) every two years. FIT measures blood in faeces and people with levels above a ...

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Artificial intelligence tool rules out COVID-19 within an hour in emergency departments

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool for rapidly detecting COVID-19 in people arriving at a hospital’s emergency department. The tool can accurately rule out infection within an hour of a patient arriving at hospital, significantly faster than the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that has a turnaround time of typically 24 hours.  Widespread ...

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Self-testing for HIV could increase diagnoses in the trans community

Kits for HIV self-testing are an effective and acceptable way of increasing HIV testing among trans people. Existing HIV testing services are often designed around men who have sex with men. This can create barriers for trans men and trans women, who are at high risk of HIV.  Many go undiagnosed as a result. A ...

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A simple blood test may give women with symptoms a personalised risk assessment for ovarian cancer

A simple blood test may be much better at identifying ovarian cancer in primary care than was previously thought. New research found that the test, for women with abdominal symptoms such as pain or bloating, was most accurate in the over 50s. The test measures levels of a protein called cancer antigen 125 (CA125) in ...

Collection

Brief conversations in primary care: an opportunity to boost health

Primary care is the ideal place to offer lifestyle and mental health advice; millions of people visit every month. The briefest of conversations can make a difference. New research from the NIHR offers advice to staff on how to maximise the impact of each encounter. GPs and nurses can be reassured that individuals value their ...

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Digital analysis of cells and tissue was as reliable as using a microscope in a new review

Diagnoses made using digital scans of cell and tissue samples are as reliable as looking at traditional slides through a microscope, a new review suggests. It provides the strongest evidence to date that digital techniques are a viable alternative to microscopy and could in future replace it. Small samples of body tissue (biopsies) are sometimes ...

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Extending breast screening to women in their forties may save lives without increasing harms, research suggests

Around 7,600 women in their 40s are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. But the NHS Breast Screening Programme only starts inviting women once they turn 50. Mammography (X-ray of the breasts) is offered to women every three years between the ages of 50 to 70. There is long-standing debate about the ...

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New sub-groups of diabetes could lead to more targeted treatment for people in India

Type 2 diabetes is not a single disease. This was shown in 2018 when doctors in Scandinavia identified several sub-groups of type 2 diabetes in their population. Each sub-group has distinct characteristics and may respond to different treatments. Now, researchers have discovered different sub-groups among people in India. Their study included more than 19,000 people ...

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An innovative swallowable sponge detects Barrett's oesophagus in people with heartburn, study shows

Detection of a pre-cancerous throat condition called Barrett’s oesophagus can be improved with the use of an innovative swallowable sponge and laboratory test, a large multicentre trial found. Heartburn, caused by acid reflux from the stomach up into the gullet (oesophagus), is common among people visiting their GP. It is usually treated with acid suppressants. ...

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A simple checklist reliably identified paranoia in adolescents with mental health problems, research shows

A new 18-item checklist provides the first reliable clinical tool for assessing paranoid thinking in young people. Research found the Bird Checklist of Adolescent Paranoia (B-CAP) gave precise estimates of the severity of paranoia. It was most reliable for moderate to severe levels. Paranoia is a neglected problem in young people. Before this research, there ...

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