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Stiff upper lip leading public to ignore cancer signs, GPs should prescribe diabetics leaflet and girls as young as 10 receive contraceptive implant

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

The British public’s ‘stiff upper lip’ stoicism is leading to them ignoring vital cancer ‘red flags’ because they don’t want to waste doctor’s time over trivial symptoms, The Independent reports.

A survey of more than 1,700 people over 50 asked about 17 red flag symptoms, without mentioning cancer. Around 900 responded saying they had at least one and nearly half of those who had a follow up interview had not seen their GP about it.

Dr Richard Roope of Cancer Research UK said: ‘The advice we give is: if in doubt, check it out – this would not be wasting your GP’s time.’

GPs should offer diabetic patients information sheets on how to manage their condition as a ‘nudge’ to help those who aren’t hitting their blood glucose level targets.

The BBC reports that a pilot run between the NHS and Diabetes UK showed patients found the leaflets useful for managing their condition, which currently only 36% of diabetics have good control over.

Diabetes tsar Dr Jonathan Valabhji said: ‘Information prescriptions are a really positive development that will enable primary care to help people with diabetes better understand and take ownership of their diabetes, and so empower people to avoid developing complications in the long term.’

And finally, the Telegraph reports almost ten thousand under-16 year old girls, some as young as ten, have received contraceptive implants by the NHS in the last five years.

Charities have been critical of the move, saying it might leave the youngest recipients open to ‘sexual exploitation’ and that long-term effects aren’t tested on those below 18, but experts say doctors have to exercise their professional judgement.

A spokesperson for Leicester’s hospitals – where the youngest patients received implants- said: ‘Only under extremely rare circumstances would a patient under the age of 13 ever receive a contraceptive implant.

‘This is never taken lightly and would be a decision made between a healthcare professional and the parent or guardian as a result of health problems or in order to safeguard the child.’

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