Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Confusing sun protection rating system leaves public at risk of skin cancer, boost for UK cancer research, and rabies risk form EU tinkering

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

The public are being put at risk of skin cancer because of an unnecessarily complicated labelling system on sun cream products, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has found.

The Guardian reports that the public recognise products’ SPF rating – for UVB radiation protection, the chief cause of sunburn – but do not look for the separate star rating for UVA radiation protection, which can also increase risk of skin cancer.

A survey by the RPS found 8% of 2,000 adults knew that the SPF rating refers to protection from UVB rays only. Chief scientist Prof Jayne Lawrence said: ‘We think it’s time for sunscreen manufacturers to provide one easy to understand rating,’.

There is a boost for UK oncology as Cancer Research UK invests £15m across its three research hubs in Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, the BBC reports.

Each centre will receive £5million, with Oxford focussing on less invasive treatments, Cambridge on early detection and treatment and Manchester on personalised surgical and radiotherapy treatments.

Dr Iain Foulkes, executive director for research funding, said: ‘With these centres the UK goes from strength to strength in supporting the best cancer research in the world.’

And finally, an EU rule change for pet passport certification could be putting the UK at greater risk of rabies outbreaks, according to one of the UK’s top veterinary surgeons.

The Independent reports that Dr Paula Boyden, director of the Dogs Trust charity, has criticised the removal of requirements for dogs to undergo additional blood tests before being transported across the EU, and says this could put rabies free countries at risk of the disease spreading from eastern Europe.

Writing in the journal Veterinary Record Dr Boyden warned: ‘Vaccinating a dog which is already incubating the disease will have little or no effect. Whilst the risk of rabies may be low, it is not absent. Does it have to take a case of the disease in the UK before this process is critically reviewed?’

Have your say

IMPORTANT: On Wednesday 7 December 2016, we implemented a new log in system, and if you have not updated your details you may experience difficulties logging in. Update your details here. Only GMC-registered doctors are able to comment on this site.