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'Hire a hospital visitor', testicular cancer survival rates soar and can a blood test diagnose Alzheimer's disease?

A round up of the health news headlines on Monday 29 July.

Over the weekend the Sunday Express brought us the news that the Patient Advocacy Service is trialling a new service which will allow people to hire a hospital visitor for up to £25 an hour to visit loved ones.

The Guardian brings us the good news that almost every man in the UK diagnosed with testicular cancer is now beating the disease.

New figures from Cancer Research UK show that ten year survival rates have increased by almost 30% in the past 40 years. More than 96% of men treated for testicular cancer today are still alive after ten years, compared with less than 70% in the 1970s. Although there is a slim chance of the cancer returning after ten years, they are considered cured.

Over at the BBC, researchers believe they are closer to developing a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

Differences in the tiny fragments of genetic material floating in the blood could be used to identify patients, according to a technique published in the Genome Biology journal.

After analysing 140 microRNAs (fragments of genetic code), researchers found that 12 microRNAs in the blood were present in different levels in people with Alzheimer’s. This formed the basis of their test. Early trials involving 202 people showed the method was accurate 93% of the time.

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