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Ban on smoking with children in cars, abortion advice warning and patients urged to see GPs sooner with cancer symptoms

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 11 February.

Public health advocates are chalking up a win this morning after ministers announced moves to ban people from smoking in cars when children are passengers. MPs yesterday voted in favour of amending the Children and Families Bill to introduce the ban in England and Wales, the BBC reports.

Liberty campaigners are up in arms but according to health minister Norman Lamb the vote was decisive enough to get the ban pushed through. He said: ‘I think there’s a very clear mandate now to get on and legislate, but we will have that discussion.’

Meanwhile an undercover investigation by Telegraph reporters has revealed women seeking abortion advice from some independent counsellors are being given bogus information, including that having the procedure can increase the risk of cancer. The scandal has led to calls for a review of abortion counselling and whether independent counselling services should be permitted.

Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, former GP and member of the Health Select Committee, said: ‘Women who go to a centre which purports to give impartial advice that is fundamentally anti-abortion in its stance, but doesn’t openly say so, is totally unacceptable. Now is the time for the Secretary of State to order a review of the whole abortion counselling process.’”

Finally the Daily Mail says patients must not let ‘stoicism’ get in the way of an early cancer diagnosis - as research shows many people wait a month before going to their GP with symptoms.

The research, commissioned by Cancer Research UK and published in the International Journal of Cancer, found people with throat and oesophageal cancer were particularly slow to consult their GP, waiting on average between 22 and 30 days.

Professor Jane Wardle from University College London said: ‘These findings suggest that lack of knowledge about symptoms may play a significant role in any delay in going to get checked out with the doctor for oropharyngeal and oesophageal cancer.’

 


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