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Thursday, March 20, 2014

3/20/14 Health News: Tumor DNA Detects Cancer Early ♦ Children's Diets 'Far Too Salty ♦ HIV Home Testing Kits ♦ Sugar Tax May Be Necessary

Circulating Tumor DNA Early Indicator of Cancer
A blood test that identifies cancer and helps track progression is showing promise as an early warning sign, say researchers. The so-called liquid biopsy works by detecting circulating tumor DNA. "The most significant advance is that it can give us an indication that cancer is there up to 5 months before it even shows up on a tissue biopsy," said Sarah-Jane Dawson, MD, from the Molecular Biomarkers and Translational Genomics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Continue Reading
Children's Diets 'Far Too Salty'
Children in the UK are eating far too much salt, with much of it coming from breads and cereals, research suggests. Children should eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day, but 70% of the 340 children in the study published in Hypertension ate more than this. Breads and cereals accounted for more than one-third of the salt in children's diets. A fifth came from meat and one-tenth from dairy products. This was despite a UK-wide drive to cut salt levels in food. Continue Reading
Is the UK Prepared for HIV Home Testing Kits?
In a little over four weeks, it will be legal to pop into the supermarket, buy an HIV home testing kit and within 20 minutes of using it at home, get a result. Surprised? So are many others, yet this legislative change has been made by the Department of Health, and supported by the Scottish Government. Since 1992, legislation has protected the public by stipulating that marketing and sale of test kits is illegal and that the results of an HIV test must be given under clinical supervision. Continue Reading
Sugar Tax May Be Necessary, England's Chief Medical Officer Says
A sugar tax may have to be introduced to curb obesity rates, the chief medical officer for England has said. Dame Sally Davies told a committee of MPs that unless the government was strong with food and drink manufacturers, it was unlikely they would reformulate their products. She said she believed "research will find sugar is addictive", and that "we may need to introduce a sugar tax". The food industry said it was working on reducing sugar in products.

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