Friday, September 21, 2012

Health news: preventing cancer

In the past it was something that many of us would have perhaps been reluctant to discuss, but thanks to the great work of charities and health professionals, more and more of us are aware of what we can do to reduce our risk of various forms of cancer.

From self-checking for symptoms of testicular cancer and breast cancer, to healthy eating and skin care, most of us these days are much more aware of the things we need to do to stay healthy and minimise the risks. And of course it goes without saying that maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and keeping within the recommended alcohol intake limits' won't just help us lower our cancer risk, they'll also mean we're healthier and feel better in general.

And as time progresses survival rates are improving, according to NHS Choices, for most cancers. While this is great news, it looks as if there could be room for improvement. New figures released this week by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) show that almost a quarter of all cancers are diagnosed while the patient is in hospital for emergency treatment. In some cases this happens when the patient was admitted for something other than symptoms relating to the cancer, but received the diagnosis after undergoing routine tests.

There is some good online info on cancer available from government health sites and private health insurance providers - including advice on cancer prevention as well as information on various types of the disease. 

The figures for older people being diagnosed in A&E is currently higher than the overall figures at around a third, which may well mean that at some point in the future we'll see some initiatives in reducing the figure and ensuring as many cases of the disease are diagnosed as early as possible.

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