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£10 prostate cancer test is 'twice as accurate', why eating meat is 'as bad as smoking', and Sir David's Mid Staffs apology

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 5 March.

A £10 urine test for prostate cancer is twice as accurate as blood testing for the disease, reports the Daily Mail.

According to the paper, doctors are also able to read from the test how serious the case, and without the need for a rectal examination.

Over at the Guardian, scientists claim a diet rich in animal protein may be as bad for your health as smoking.

They found over-65s consuming a lot of meat, eggs, milk and cheese had a fourfold risk of dying from cancer or diabetes.

A more reliable test for Down’s syndrome could soon become available on the NHS, reports the Telegraph.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which uses a blood sample, is currently being piloted in the NHS and the National Screening Committee will consider whether it should be offered to every pregnant woman.

Scientists said it was the most exciting development in pregnancy care for decades.

Over at the Guardian, outgoing NHS chief Sir David Nicholson expressed his ‘bitter regret’ at his handling of the Mid Staffs hospital crisis, saying it was the ‘biggest and most obvious mistake’ of his career.

Speaking at an NHS England conference yesterday, Sir David apologised for not meeting with patient campaigners when he visisted the hospital after the 2009 Healthcare Commission report.

He told the conference: ‘The biggest and most obvious mistake I made [in his 36-year NHS career] was […] I didn’t seek out the patient representatives and the people who were in [local patient campaign group] Cure the NHS and I didn’t do it because I made the wrong call.’

Readers' comments (2)

  • Bit late to be sorry Sir David and I DO think you knew what you were doing-full well.

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  • You have got the findings reported in the Guardian the wrong way round. It is the under 65s who may be damaged by too much protein. The over 65s were found to get some benefit from protein in their diets cutting the risk of death from any cause by 28%, and cancer deaths by 60% (pub. In Cell Metabolism)

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