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A 'cancer-mapping' centre, calls to end 'casual' cosmetic surgery and a tax on sugary drinks

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 29 January

The Royal College of Surgeons has called for an end to ‘casual’ cosmetic surgeries today, issuing guidelines which said that only qualified surgeons should be permitted to carry out procedures such as breast enlargements and botox.

The Guardian reports that the college wants ‘botox parties’ and ‘filler parties’ to end, so that Botox or filler is only injected by a doctor, dentist or nurse on medical premises.

Doctors should also consider sending would-be patients for an assessment by a clinical psychologist before agreeing to treatment.

Signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, where a person is obsessed with a perceived defect, should be documented and patients should be asked about eating disorders.

The college also wanted to ban financial deals and discounts  which incentivise people towards cosmetic procedures, and said that doctors should temper the language they use to manage patient’s expectations.

‘They should not imply that patients will feel ‘better’ or ‘look nicer’ and should instead use unambiguous language like ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’ to describe what that patient is trying to change.’ said the college.

 Over at the Telegraph campaigners are calling for a tax on sugary drinks to improve children’s health.

A report by food and farming charity Sustain said the Government could raise £1 billion a year from adding up to 20p a litre on to the price of sugary drinks, which could pay for free school meals and public health directives to encourage children to eat fruit and vegetables.

The levy could cut consumption of sugary drinks, and reduce the £6 billion a year that diet related illness costs the NHS.

The report was backed by more than 60 organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal Society for Public Health, the National Heart Forum and Friends of the Earth.

Charlie Powell, the group’s campaigns manager, said: ‘Sugar-laden drinks are mini health time-bombs, contributing to dental diseases, obesity and a host of life-threatening illnesses which cost the NHS billions each year.

‘We are delighted that so many organisations want to challenge the Government to show it has a public health backbone by including a sugary drinks duty in the Budget.’

The BBC reports on the opening  a new centre - the biggest of its kind in the NHS - investigating the genetic mutations that causes healthy tissue to turn into cancer, and how cancers become resistant to drugs.

The laboratories at the Institute of Cancer Research will use information in the tumour’s DNA to find the best ‘personalised’ treatments, which the director said would be common practice in the NHS within a decade.

The ICR’s director, Professor Alan Ashworth, said: ‘None of this is science fiction. This is now happening. We think we’re pioneering the clinical application of this by setting up the Tumour Profiling Unit, but one would think this would be absolutely routine practice for every cancer patient - and that’s what we’re aiming to bring about.’

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