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GP complaints soar, pancreatic cancer research and why going to the pub really is good for you



By Steve Nowottny

Our roundup of news headlines on Monday 8 February 2010

We start this morning with everyone’s favourite way to start the week, the Daily Mail, and a front-page story on new Information Centre figures on the number of complaints against GPs.

As with all Daily Mail stories about GPs, we begin with a brief reminder of how lucky GPs are (‘Higher pay, shorter hours…’) and then the headline concludes (‘but complaints about GPs soar 12 per cent in ONE year.’)

Tory health spokesperson Mark Simmonds is quoted as saying the findings are ‘extremely concerning’, although the article notes GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman pointing out that ‘while poor clinical care and bad behaviour could never be excused, it was possible that patients were more likely to complain now than they were ten years ago.’

Interestingly, with out-of-hours care still very much in the spotlight in the wake of the Ubani case, the Mail also has a first-person opinion piece from an out-of-hours GP, Dr Ellie Cannon, headlined ‘A senior doctor swore at me for staying with a dying man… THAT’S how bad this out-of-hours crisis has become.’

The Telegraph and the Times reports that breast cancer patients could be set to get fewer, larger doses of radiotherapy, after trials at the Institute of Cancer Research concluded that ‘a lower, overall course delivered as fewer, larger doses was found to keep tumours under control and also resulted in fewer skin changes’.

Today’s ‘miracle cure’ story comes courtesy of the Mail, which begins with the very good question ‘is there nothing the humble tomato can’t do?’ OK, so fighting crime and untangling John Terry’s love life may be beyond it, but on the cancer-tackling front, a new study shows it’s apparently come up trumps.

The Mail reports: ‘Touted as a ‘super superfood’ for its ability to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, the Moruno tomato has twice the normal levels of a natural cancer-fighting substance and as much vitamin C as a similar-sized orange.’

The Sun, however, highlights very different research, warning of the ‘Cancer risk in two cans of pop’.

According to a US study following 60,500 people in Singapore over 14 years, ‘drinking just two cans of fizzy pop a week can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 87 percent’.

And finally, the Independent brings glad tidings. A study from the National Institute of Health in the US has found that silicon may be important for the growth and development of bones, and furthermore, that beer ‘appears to be a major contributor’ to the amount of silicon in the diet.

It’s official: going to the pub is good for you.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest