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Drugs to prevent breast cancer available on the NHS, former CQC boss denies cover up and the future of training brain surgeons

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 25 June.

Thousands of women with a family history of breast cancer are to be offered preventative drugs on the NHS , the BBC reports.

NICE have said tamoxifen or ralxoifene taken daily for five years can cut breast cancer risk by 40% and this effect should last for a decade.

The guidance means 500,000 women in England and Wales who are aged over 35 and at ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk of breast cancer now have a choice other than a mastectomy.

Dr Caitlin Palframan, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said the guidelines were a step forward in the fight against the disease.

She said: ‘Our strongest tool in the fight against breast cancer is prevention, and these new guidelines are a fantastic leap forward in the way we prevent breast cancer developing in those at highest risk.’

Over at the Telegraph, the former head of the CQC has denied trying to suppress a report which showed flaws in the inspection of an NHS trust where 16 babies are thought to have died because of poor care.

Ms Cynthia Bower, who resigned from the £200,000 a year role last year, accused the CQC of commissioning a report from management accountants Grant Thornton that was ‘against natural justice’, and said she has not been given the chance to respond to accusations.

She denies the claim that she supported a decision to scrap the internal review of Morecambe Bay hospitals and delete the subsequent report.

Ms Bower told the Telegraph: ‘I can’t speak for someone else’s interpretation. All I can say is I didn’t say it [delete the report], no one else said it and the report still exists. I categorically deny the words that have been put in people’s mouths.’

The Daily Mail brings us the exciting news that brain surgeons are now being trained using virtual reality software in ‘the ultimate game of operation’.

The NeuroTouch Cranio surgery simulation tool allows brain surgeons to develop their skills without having to risk the life of a patient.

The device is being used at The Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University, in Canada.

Surgeons can see the outcomes of their’ surgery’ on the simulator’s screen, but developers it will be several years before the technology is widely available to surgical students.

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