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Scottish cancer divide, the insulin poisoner and why one woman is addicted to furniture polish

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 15 July.

It might not be the usual cravings of a pregnant woman but one mum-to-be has confessed to eating furniture polish up to three times a day. The Sun reports seven-months pregnant, Emma Veness has gone through three cans of the stuff since getting pregnant, well each to their own as the saying goes.

The Mail reveals the names of two of the victims of the hospital insulin poisoner. Arnold Lancaster and George Keep are thought to have been infected with the contaminated insulin. Detectives were last night planning to interview 60 medical staff that have access to the drugs store room where the contaminated batch was discovered.

The property company, NHP, that owns 250 of the homes currently run by Southern Cross, has announced plans to take its homes back and run them under its own care home service. This news, reported by the Independent shines a ray of hope on the thousands of elderly people who fear they could lose their home because of the company’s financial troubles.

Middle-aged women in Scotland are at greater risk of getting breast cancer than the rest of the UK, a study has revealed. The BBC writes today that 10 new cases are diagnosed every day north of the border, much higher than the UK average. The study, by Cancer Research UK has revealed that cancer rates for middle-aged men and women have risen by 20% in the last 30 years.

It’s not all bad news on the cancer front though. Cancer rates might be rising but survival rates have doubled since the 1970’s the Express reports. Improvements in technology, better drugs and national screening programmes mean Britain is winning the war against cancer.

There are many depressing lists we make in life: the bills to pay list, the work tasks to get done for the day list etc. Yet GPs beat everyone because they are being urged keep a list of patients expected to die over the next 12 months. The National Council for Palliative Care states that family doctors should ‘take action’ to meet the choices of the terminally ill.

Britain’s nursing force could shrink by as much as 100,000 thousand over the next ten years. The Nursing Times reports that spiralling cuts to posts, shrinking student places and a retirement bubble, could crash the system within a decade.

Scientist’s have hailed a breakthrough in stem cell research, the BBC reports. Brain-boxes at Glasgow and Southampton Universities have developed a plastic surface for growing adult stem cells. It is hoped the breakthrough could help fight arthritis.

Caesarean sections have come under the spot light after it was revealed Victoria Beckham has had her fourth. With C-sections rising to 24% of all births in the UK and even higher in London the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), think the number has got completely out of hand.