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Pfizer courts PM over AstraZeneca bid, late cancer diagnosis and smelling the opposite sex

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 2 May.

The Guardian reports this morning on drug giant Pfizer’s intensified bid to take over British-based AstraZeneca. Pfizer is now offering a staggering £63bn for the rival, upping a previous offer to £50 per share. According to the paper, Pfizer boss Ian Read has even written to David Cameron to state the case.

He wrote: ‘Establishing the world’s largest pharmaceutical company in the UK, together with the commitments made in this letter represent a strong indicator of the incentives that your Government has created to attract successful business to the UK.’

Tens of thousands of people with cancer are being diagnosed too late, the Telegraph reports. According to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity, large numbers of cancer patients also feel they are not treated with compassion by health professionals.

Macmillan’s chief executive Ciarán Devane, said: ‘It is a national shame that our cancer survival rates are amongst the worst in Europe, that patients are being treated with a lack of dignity or being denied a good death.’

And finally, our noses enable us to detect the difference between men and women even when we don’t think we smell anything on the conscious level, the Daily Mail reports.

Tests by researchers in in China found that heterosexual men can recognise the smell of women, and gay men were able to distinguish the sex smell of men. Lead researcher Wen Zhou said: ‘Our findings argue for the existence of human sex pheromones. They show that the nose can sniff out gender from body secretions even when we don’t think we smell anything.’

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