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Cancer - Early Detection is the Key

Increasingly over the last few years we have been informed that the development of cancer is heavily influenced by lifestyle and we are more likely to develop cancer if we are over weight, drink to excess and do not maintain a reasonable level of fitness.

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On 2 January 2015 it was reported by the BBC that a US team at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health reported in the Journal, “Science” that two-thirds of the cancer types they analysed were caused just by your DNA acquiring chance mutations rather than lifestyle. The remaining third are still heavily influenced by the lifestyle choices we make.

Bad Luck

Old tired cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones made by dividing stem cells. The team concluded that two thirds of cancer types were "due to bad luck" from dividing stem cells picking up mutations which could not be prevented. One of the researchers and an assistant Professor of Oncology, Christian Tomasetti said “We should focus more resources on finding ways to detect such cancers at early, curable stages”. Over recent years resources have focused on prevention of the cancers developing in the first place.

As a clinical negligence department we would strongly support the importance of early detection, as we are instructed on behalf of many clients who have suffered or died because of an unacceptable delay in diagnosis of cancer, despite the existence of National Guidelines.

Failure to Investigate Key Symptoms

There are still too many incidents of doctors and hospitals failing to investigate specific key symptoms in order to rule out a sinister cause at the earliest opportunity. Some of the most common cases involve breast, colon, bladder and skin cancer. Sadly many of our clients would be facing a much more positive future if their doctors had simply erred on the side of caution, and referred them for further investigations when they were presented with symptoms potentially suggestive of cancer.