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Revolutionary medicine project launched across England, birth control pill could heighten risk of cancer, and Ebola fears ruled out at Commonwealth Games

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 1 August.

A new project to revolutionise medicine by unlocking the secrets of DNA has been launched in centres across England, the BBC reports.

The first genetic codes of people with cancer or rare diseases, out of a target of 100,000, have been sequenced. The experts believe it could lead to targeted therapies and could make chemotherapy ‘a thing of the past’.

They argue that understanding DNA will soon play a role in every aspect of medicine from cancer to cardiology.

Elsewhere, theIndependent reports that some birth control pills may temporarily increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer by up to 50%, according to a new American study.

The study revealed that women who had taken contraceptive pills in the last year which had a high or moderate dose of oestrogen, had a 50% increased risk of breast cancer - research involving more than 1,100 cancer patients found. Any increased risk of breast cancer from taking birth control pills will have disappeared within 10 years of coming off the pill, experts said.

Pills with a low dose of oestrogen did not increase breast cancer risk. Most commonly used contraceptive pills contain low to moderate doses of oestrogen. 

And finally, the Commonwealth Games can continue as normal after the competition’s officials in Glasgow dismissed any concerns about Ebola contagion after it emerged that a cyclist competing for Sierra Leone was tested for the virus with negative result, reports the Guardian.

 

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