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Cancer viral link, rise in cosmetic surgery and WeightWatchers ruin pizza night

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 17 October.

Bliss, a special care baby charity, tells us that more than half of England's specialist baby care units do not meet the requirement set by the DH that 70% of staff are qualified in specialist care, reports the Guardian today. The charity said this is the result of staff cuts to the 172 neonatal units.

The Daily Mail reports the latest cancer research, which has found viruses may cause up to 40% of cancers including brain tumours and leukaemia. This revelation comes after scientists in Sweden found a viral link with medulloblastoma, the most common form of childhood brain tumour. Further research has been called for, but if this is correct it could result in more anti-cancer vaccinations and changes in the way cancer is treated.

The cost of cosmetic surgery, done for purely aesthetic reasons, is set to rise by 20%, reports the Independent. HMRC claims it is simply clarifying existing guidelines, where surgeons need to register for VAT and pass the cost onto patients, but Fazel Fatah, president of British Association of Aesthetic Plastic surgeons, said: ‘The subjective proposals being put forward by HMRC will potentially harm large numbers of patients. They imply that, by definition, any procedure that corrects appearance rather than function is not a medical need.'

The Daily Mirror reports that a fifth of people think pizza is a healthy meal... proving that the other four-fifths have got things terribly wrong. This research from WeightWatchers, who asked respondents: ‘If a pizza topping was tomato, spinach, peppers, rocket or pineapple, would you say it was healthy?' Apparently, nearly a half said ‘probably'. Daily Digest would say that it is clearly a trick question, as they haven't defined what base is being use in this figurative pizza. Don't try and tell us that a deep pan pizza vs. a thin and crispy base wouldn't make a difference WeightWatchers.