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#GPnews: Contraceptive pill 'has long-term protective effects' against cancer

15:15 In case you missed news reports earlier this week (probably because you were too busy following developments at Pulse Live), the contraceptive pill has again been linked to a reduction in cancer risk.

The long-running Oxford University study published in the Lancet Oncology journal found that taking an oral contraceptive protected women against some cancers for more than 35 years after they stop taking it.

The risk of developing cancer of the womb reduced by 25% for every five years a woman spent on the pill. And for women who had taken the pill for over a decade, the risk of womb cancer decreased from 2.3 per 100 women to 1.3 per 100, reports the Telegraph.

12:50 Booze bottles are set to feature Chief Medical Officer guidance on advisable drinking levels going forward.

The Government has today published guidance to the drinks industry on how these warning signs might appear on packaging.

It suggests alcoholic drinks should feature tags along the lines of: 'The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend adults do not regularly drink more than 14 units per week.'

This reflects the most recent updated guidance from the CMO, published last year, which revised down the recommended intake.

Public health minister Nicola Blackwood said: 'The right to enjoy a drink responsibly is part of our national culture, and we want to ensure that adults have clear information in order to make informed choices.

'This change is industry-led, and I welcome this commitment to giving clear and factual information to consumers.'

11:20 Scotland is to guarantee three rounds of IVF for couples struggling to conceive, unlike some parts of England and Wales, reports the Scotsman.

The paper says public health minister Aileen Campbell 'defended the spending at a time of pressure on accident and emergency departments and waiting times'.

Ms Campbell told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: 'We have always had a commitment towards ensuring there is as equitable access to IVF as there possibly can be and we had a number of recommendations presented to us that we accepted from the national infertility group.

'One of these included ensuring that couples could get access to three cycles of IVF. That is today what we are taking forward.'

09:45 British researchers have made a breakthrough when it comes to the diagnosis of tuberculosis, reports the BBC.

It said health secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed the news, which he said would 'save lives'.

Oxford and Birmingham researchers said they could isolate strains in DNA using genome sequencing, leading to earlier diagnosis and reduced spread.

Consultant microbiologist Professor Grace Smith said: 'We're able to provide information on the species of the organism and the drugs to which it may be resistant if it's TB.'

 Seen something interesting? Email newsdesk@pulsetoday.co.uk or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews

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