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Diabetes could ‘bankrupt the NHS’, aspirin reduces bowel cancer deaths, and is pizza really good for you?



The treatment of diabetes could bankrupt the NHS within 20 years, the nationals shout today.

A report in the journal Diabetic Medicine suggests that 80% of the £9.8bn UK diabetes bill goes towards treating complications – many of which are avoidable. It also suggests that by 2035, the condition will cost the NHS £16.8bn – 17% of its entire budget.

Many of the complications occur when people with diabetes sustain high levels of glucose over a long period, the report says.

A focus on prevention, through encouraging healthier eating, and more health checks performed in primary care is key to tackling the disease and cutting costs, a Department of Health spokeswoman said.

The Impact Diabetes report was authored by the York Health Economic Consortium and developed in partnership between Diabetes UK, JDRF and Sanofi diabetes.

Ex-CQC chair Baroness Barbara Young, now chief executive Diabetes UK, and never one to shy away from an eye catching sound-bite, warned of a ‘car crash’ ahead: ‘The report shows that without urgent action, the already huge sums of money spent on treating diabetes will rise to unsustainable levels that threaten to bankrupt the NHS.

‘If this rise in diabetes is allowed to continue, as is happening at the moment, it will simply be disastrous for the NHS and wreck NHS budgets. I think we have a car crash coming.’

There is better news regarding cancer treatment, however. The BBC cites a report that claims taking the humble aspirin every day reduces the chances of bowel cancer patients dying by one-third.

The study in the British Journal of Cancer, which spanned a decade, looked at 4,500 bowel cancer patients living in the Netherlands.

It revealed that taking aspirin for any length of time after diagnosis cut the chance of dying from bowel cancer by 23%.

Lead researcher Dr Gerrit-Jan Liefers, of the Leiden University Medical Centre, said: ‘Our work adds to growing evidence that aspirin not only can prevent cancer from occurring but if it is there it can help prevent it spreading.’

But Liefers warns Aspirin should not be used as a substitute for chemotherapy.

A tastier form of cancer treatment is highlighted in the Daily Mail in the form of pizza.

Unfortunately, it is not the cheese nor toppings that help, but the oregano.

Researchers from Long Island University, New York, studied carvacrol, a chemical in oregano. They found that, when added to prostate cancer cells in the lab, it rapidly wiped them out.

Supriya Bavadekar, one of the researchers and a pharmacologist, said: ‘Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk.

‘This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play role.’