This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

BMJ launches attack on alcohol pricing, the ethnicity cancer myth and why men with prostate cancer might be told to avoid treatment

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 8 January.

The BMJ has abandoned all caution and is accussing the Government’s of all sorts of things over alcohol pricing this morning.

The Independent reports that a BMJ investigation has shown ministers and officials met representatives from large drinks firms and leading supermarkets on numerous occasions – even after the formal consultation on minimum pricing had closed. There are also claims that a University of Sheffield study into alchol pricing published in the BMJ was delayed until ministers had made up their minds.

A spokesperson said the Department of Health ‘utterly reject[ed] the allegation of anything untoward’ adding that ministers and officials had had ‘a similar number or more meetings with health charities, health campaigners or the food industry’. Daily Digest thinks that ministers really should read this story and then make their minds up about minimum alcohol prices.

White women’s lifestyles are the reason why they are likely to have higher rates of breast cancer than black and south Asian women, says the Guardian this morning. A report from Oxford University has found differences between ethnic groups were almost entirely accounted for by individuals’ lifestyles, such as having more children or breast feeding for longer.

Updated NICE guidance on prostate cancer could mean that thousands of men are told to consider having regular check-ups instead of immediately undergoing radiotherapy or surgery. The Telegraph reports that men with intermediate or low-risk prostate cancer will be advised that treatments for their cancer have severe side-effects and their cancer may not cause them any harm in their lifetime.

Professor Mark Baker, the director of NICE’s Centre for Clinical Practice, said: ‘The aim of this guideline is to ensure that excellent treatment is provided for men who will benefit from it.’


Have your say