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Cancer rates improving, parents using methadone to sedate children and you can now experience dementia on Facebook

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 29 April

We start off today with some good news. The majority of the nationals, including the BBC, lead with the news that cancer survival rates are improving.

The BBC, which chooses to illustrate the breakthrough with a half-naked blonde women, reports that half of people in England and Wales now being diagnosed with cancer will survive at least a decade - double the rate in the early 1970s.

Figures from Cancer Research UK showed that in 1971/2, 50% of people diagnosed with cancer died within a year. Now 50% survive for at least a decade - up from 24% in 1971/2.

It says new treatments have played a role as well as earlier diagnosis and screening. But the charity added it wanted to see 10-year survival hit 75% in the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, some less encouraging news at the Guardian.

It reports that some children are being given methadone by parents with a serious drug addiction to ‘pacify’ them.

The charity Adfam said that in the last five years there were 17 serious case reviews – undertaken when a child in care dies from abuse or neglect – involving opiate substitutes.

In about a fifth of cases studied, parents were ‘deliberately administering methadone to young children, apparently in misguided attempts to soothe or pacify them’.

And finally, the BBC reports that Facebook users have a new app to use which will let them experience what it is take to have dementia.

The FaceDementia app, by Alzheimer’s Research UK, ‘takes over’ personal Facebook pages, and temporarily erases important memories, mimicking how dementia affects the brain.

Users can watch their personal photos, important details and status updates disappear before their eyes.

The app does not hold on to any data or scramble a user’s real timeline or Facebook information, instead presenting an overlay to show the effects of dementia.

 

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