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Today’s top health news

The BBC reports CT scans can triple the risk of children developing leukaemia and brain cancer. Despite a very small absolute risk, scientists called for greater efforts to ensure use of the 3D X-rays is justified. British-led scientists studied data on around 180,000 patients under the age of 22 who had CT scans at UK hospitals between 1985 and 2002. Their cancer rates were compared with those from the general population, reported in the UK National Health Service Registry. The results showed children younger than 15 would receive enough radiation from two to three head CT scans to triple their risk of developing brain cancer.

Accountancy firm PwC has won a £3.4m contract to help with the assessment and authorisation of prospective clinical commissioning groups, writes The HSJ. The contract was awarded by the NHS Commissioning Board, which will now review and make decisions about 212 CCGs before January next year. The board will hold visits, panel sessions, and review survey results in each CCG area, along with large amounts of documentation. It is likely the accountancy firm will advise on whether similar standards and approaches are being applied across the country.

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Today’s top health news

Scientists have unravelled the complex brain processes which lead to dementia, handing fresh hope to hundreds of thousands of sufferers, reports Express.co.uk. Scientists from the University of York experimented on fruit flies, examining the connections between neurons to see what... Read more

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised that the Conservatives will boost NHS spending by £8bn over the next five years if they win the general election, reports Independent.co.uk. The intervention appeared designed to scupper Labour attempts to seize the initiative... Read more

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An experimental drug to treat a particular type of fatty liver disease has been found to be more effective than a placebo in a mid-stage study, reports Reuters. The study determined the drug’s effectiveness by measuring reductions in biomarkers associated with cell... Read more

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In its assessment of the coalition’s health record, The King’s Fund think tank says that patient care will deteriorate as the NHS heads for a £2bn deficit, reports The Guardian. According to the assessment, patients will lose out as waiting... Read more

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Cancer survival rates in the UK are lagging more than two decades behind those achieved in many European countries, reports TheGuardian.com. A Macmillan Cancer Support study has revealed the chances of surviving five of the most commonly occurring types of the... Read more