With news about the coronavirus pandemic developing daily, we want to make sure everyone affected by cancer gets the information they need during this time.

We’re pulling together the latest government and NHS health updates from across the UK in a separate blog post, which we’re updating regularly.

Cancer blood test hits the headlines

Researchers in China have developed a new blood test that can detect cancers in blood samples taken up to 4 years before diagnosis. The PanSeer test is said to spot cancer in 95% of individuals who had no symptoms when the blood was taken but went on to receive a diagnosis in the next 4 years.  Samantha Harrison, senior early diagnosis manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The PanSeer test has achieved encouraging initial results. Promisingly the test may be able to detect cancer in blood samples taken years before diagnosis. But these are early results that now need to be validated in larger studies.” Read more in the The Guardian and check out our blog post on blood tests being developed to detect cancer early.

Government to unveil new measures to help reduce obesity

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to unveil a new obesity strategy. What’s in the report – including proposed measures on banning junk food advertising before 9pm on TV and online – may not be fully revealed until early next week, but speculation is high. Restrictions on junk food discounts and adverts are vital to help give families greater control of their diets and help reduce childhood obesity, as outlined in a letter from a group of public health directors in England, picked up by The Guardian.

Study suggests link between gum disease and stomach cancer

A new Harvard University paper has prompted some bold headlines  about tooth brushing, after it hints at a relationship between gum disease and a higher risk of throat and stomach cancers. The study assessed 148,144 people over a 22 to28-year period and established a potential link between an as-yet-unknown oral bacteria and cancer, but the mechanism behind the link hasn’t been explored. It also raised the possibility of tooth loss being associated with throat and stomach cancers. More research would be needed to confirm if gum disease or tooth loss directly caused these cancer types.

And finally…

New Atlas covers research aiming to dramatically reduce the time it takes to detect radiation sickness, by measuring key biomarkers in a solitary drop of blood. And their ambition doesn’t end there, the team hope that in the future the same technology could be useful for monitoring radiotherapy dosages.

Jake Richards is a writer for PA Media Group

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