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Labour cancer fund pledge, an obesity pill 'to replace the treadmill' and fizzy drink blood pressure warning

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Labour will set up a new fund to drive the development of cancer drugs, radiotherapy and surgery if elected into government next year, the BBC reports this morning.

Apparently, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham will announce the fund - worth £330m a year - today at the Britain Against Cancer conference. The initiative will replace the current Government’s £280m per year Cancer Drugs Fund, which is due to run out in 2016.

Mr Burnham is expected to say: ‘The problem with cancer policy under the current Government is that it prioritises one form of cancer treatment over others and places one group of patients ahead of another.

‘This is indefensible when we know surgery and radiotherapy are responsible for nine in ten cases where cancer is cured.’

The Independent reports on a potential new ‘obesity pill’ to turn ‘bad’ white fat cells into ‘good’, fat-burning brown fat cells.

Researchers said their studies on two compounds could lead to a pill ‘that could replace the treadmill’.

Lead researcher Dr Chad Cowan from Harvard University said: ‘You’re constantly replenishing your fat tissue so if you were on a medication to convert the cells, each new fat cell would be more metabolically active and would convert to brown fat over time.’

Lastly, the Daily Mail has a new warning over the compound Bisphenol A used to line the inside of cans and plastic bottles, after researchers found people who drank soy milk from cans had significant increases in blood pressure - just two cans a day led to 5 a mmHg rise.

Dr Yun-Chul Hong, of the Seoul National University College of Medicine, said: ‘A 5 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure by drinking two canned beverages may cause clinically significant problems, particularly in patients with heart disease or hypertension.’


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