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Weekly News Summary – 17th March 2017

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the news summary at The Medic Portal. This blog brings you the key health news stories that occurred from 13th to 17th March. This week a new report has indicated that NHS rationing is causing patients pain and distress. New research indicates that targeted drug therapies discovered could help one in five breast cancers and ibuprofen has been linked to an increased risk of suffering a heart attack.

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Enforced rationing of NHS services is causing patients increasing pain and distress.

A report conducted by The King’s Fund has indicated that enforced rationing of NHS services is causing patients increasing pain and distress. The report looked at sexual health services, district nursing, planned hip operations and neonatal care. The report reflects the increasing concern of doctors that the NHS is at “breaking point”. The British Medical Association has issued a statement that pressure on all NHS services is increasing as are waiting lists. The study found that the number of district nurses fell by almost half between 2000 and 2014, and fell by a further 15% between 2014 and 2016.

Research published in Nature Medicine this week has shown that around 10,000 women a year in the UK could benefit from a targeted biological therapy. Biological therapies are currently used to treat rare inherited genetic cancers but the study shows that they could help those without a genetic cause. Biological therapies have already proved promising in prostate and ovarian cancers. The drugs work by changing the way cells in the body behave and allow the body to control the growth of cancer.

A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen could increase the risk of cardiac arrest by 31 per cent. Gunnar Gislason, the researcher behind the study emphasised how the results indicate that NSAIDs aren’t harmless and should be sold in limited quantities. Previous research has already shown a link between NSAIDs and heart attacks. It is thought that the drugs may cause arteries to constrict, increase fluid retention and increase blood pressure.

Words: Joelle

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