Welcome back to The Medic Portal’s news summary. This news summary will keep you up to date with the highlights in health and medical news from 21st to 27th November. This week has seen the release of the Autumn Statement which will not invest in social care, a study that has shown predatory bacteria could be used to fight superbugs and new figures that indicate mouth cancer is on the rise.
This week Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the Autumn Statement to Parliament. There has been calls for more funding to support council-run social care in the UK due to concerns that patients are remaining in hospital unnecessarily. It was hoped that an increase in funding would enable more social care to become available, thus allowing patients to return home earlier from hospital as care would be available elsewhere. Despite this, the Chancellor did not outline any plans to put more funding into the NHS or social care. However, Philip Hammond has referred to an extra £10 billion to be given to the NHS by 2020-2021.
A study published in Biology has shown that predatory bacteria could be a new weapon against superbugs. The experiments conducted showed a dose of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus acting as a living antibiotics to clear infection. The studies which were conducted on animals show the bacteria had no known side effects. It is hoped that the new type of living antibiotic could be used to treat infected wounds as the bacteria could be injected into the site of infection directly. The innovative study has shown new ways that antibiotic resistant infections could be treated in the future. Further studies need to be completed in which B.bacteriovorus is used to combat a range of infections before testing the technique on human participants.
The rates of mouth cancer have risen by 68% over the last 20 years according to new figures. The data which was collected and published by Cancer Research UK shows that mouth cancer is on the rise for both men and women in all age groups. Previously, in 1993 to 1995 there were eight cases of mouth cancer per 100,000 people whereas this rose to 13 cases per 100,000 people between 2012 and 2014. The highest increase has been seen in men under the age of 50. Cancer Research UK have issued a warning over the figures as nine out of ten cases are thought to be linked to unhealthy lifestyles. Those who are at the greatest risk are those who smoke, drink alcohol, have a low fruit and vegetable intake and have been infected with the Human Papilloma Virus.