A round-up of news from the professional journals
Twin cancer news
Environmental factors hugely outweigh genetic predisposition in causing
cancers, a tri-nation study of twins has shown. Researchers studied the health
records of 44,788 pairs of twins in Sweden, Denmark and Finland and found that there
is a less than 15 per cent risk that an identical twin will develop a cancer
after one has done so.
Area affects lists
Waiting lists vary considerably between different health authority areas,
Department of Health figures have shown. In some areas nine out of 10 patients
are seen as outpatients within 13 weeks of a GP referral, whereas elsewhere it
can be as low as 60 per cent.
Clean up your act
Infection control nurses have called for national standards on the cleaning
and use of medical devices. The Infection Control Nurses Association believes
such standards should supplement those on hygiene, which it issued to English
NHS trusts in May.
Between 30 and 60 per cent of urgent breast cancer cases are not being
referred to specialists within two weeks. The DoH said that the rate rises to
96 per cent in cases where the woman’s GP has picked up the problem.