Live updates

The test that could detect early signs of lung cancer

Doctors may introduce a breath test designed to detect early signs of lung cancer . This in turn could help lower the disease's death rate. Researchers at University of Liverpool developed a technique for analysing the vapour inside the container in which the cells were growing and showed it was capable of distinguishing which of the two different genes were faulty.

Credit: PA

Its estimated that lung disease kills more than 35,000 people in the UK every year. It's the biggest cause of cancer death and has a low survival rate because diagnosis is often at the terminal stage.

"These findings tell us that it's theoretically possible to develop a test that could diagnose early lung cancer in the breath of patients. There's an urgent need to diagnose lung cancers earlier, when treatment is more effective."

– Dr Mike Jones, University of Liverpool Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme

Parents shock at treatment of King family over proton beam

The parents of a 13-year-old girl from Rochdale who's had proton beam therapy for cancer in America say they're shocked at how the parents of Ashya King were treated.

The Kings ended up in prison after they removed their son from a hospital. He's now having the treatment in Prague.

In the case of Lucy Briggs she was also diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumour, but the NHS did fund her treatment.

And the same pioneering therapy could soon be available much closer to home at The Christie in Manchester. Rob Smith reports.


Artist's impressions show future Christie proton beam centre

Artist's impressions have been released, showing the planned Proton Beam Therapy Centre at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

The centre, to be the first to offer the treatment in the UK, has moved a step closer after the government announced £250m of funding has been made available.

The new Proton Beam Therapy Centre in an artist's impression Credit: Christie Hospital
The centre will be the first in the country Credit: Christie Hospital

'Proton beam' therapy to be offered at Christie

The Christie in Manchester has moved a step closer to becoming the first place in the country where proton beam therapy for cancer will be offered to patients.

The Christie will offer proton beam therapy Credit: ITV Granada

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said £250 million of government funding will be used to build two new facilities in Manchester and London.

It will allow the Christie to tender for the necessary building work and equipment needed to offer the treatment.

Currently doctors can choose to send patients to America for the treatment, the new facilities should allow 1,500 patients-a-year to be treated in the UK by 2018.

National Clinical Lead for Proton Beam Therapy Adrian Crellin said: "Whilst we will continue to offer this treatment overseas until the new facilities are built in Manchester and London, I am delighted that we are now a step closer to providing Proton Beam Therapy in the UK.

"Compared to standard radiotherapy options, Proton Beam Therapy offers the opportunity to reduce the risks of potential side effects such as growth deformity, loss of hearing and lowered IQ, which is a particular consideration when treating children and young people."

Patient 'lives in dark' for cancer treatment

A care assistant has become the first person in the world to take part in an international trial of a new cancer treatment.

But the procedure, being pioneered at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool has meant Irene Williams has had to spend a month away from bright light.

Irene was forced to completely cover her skin Credit: ITV

The drug Irene was given for bile duct cancer is a photosynsthesizer, meaning it would react to daylight.

So Irene was forced to completely cover up when she left the house.

Irene wore dark glasses and a face mask Credit: ITV

Beating cancer in the dark

A care assistant has become the first person in the world to take part in an international trial of a new cancer treatment.

But the procedure, being pioneered at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool has meant Irene Williams has had to spend a month away from bright light.

Irene has bile duct cancer and the drug she's been taking is light sensitive, so keeping away from sunlight has become the norm.

Because her condition is inoperable she felt this was her only choice.


Soap star helps cancer campaign secure a parliamentary debate

The former soap star Julie Hesmondhalgh, who won awards for her sensitive portrayal of cancer sufferer Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, has helped campaigners secure a key debate in parliament.

In response to a 100,000-signature e-petition, MPs are today debating the call for more spending on research into pancreatic cancer.

Our political correspondent Alison Mackenzie reports.

  1. Calendar

Pancreatic Cancer Campaign

Last night the nation shed many tears as Coronation street's Hayley Cropper took her life after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

It has been a controversial storyline because of the character's decision to commit suicide but it has also raised the profile of the disease known as the silent killer.

As a result of the story a widow from Scunthorpe has forged a strong friendship with the actress who plays Hayley - leading to a massive boost in her own bid to force a government debate on the topic.

Maggie's e-petition can be found here.

For advice and information on pancreatic cancer, the following websites are available:

  1. Calendar

Corrie star backs Scunthorpe widow's campaign

Julie Hesmondhalgh Credit: Press Association

A Scunthorpe widow has become close friends with Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh - because of pancreatic cancer.

Last night millions of TV viewers saw Julie's character Hayley Cropper take her own life after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mum of one Maggie Watts, 45, lost her own husband Kevin through the same illness in 2009.

The pair became friends, after the Coronation Street star gave support to secretary Maggie's on-line petition to Parliament to raise more awareness about pancreatic cancer.

Last month the two women went on a fact-finding mission to the University of Manchester where scientists are working on a two-year study programme funded by the charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

  1. Calendar

Pancreatic cancer campaign moves to Parliament

A widow from Scunthorpe is preparing to head to Westminster tomorrow for a debate which she hopes will help in the fight against the disease which killed her husband. Maggie Watts helped raise more than one hundred thousand names on an online petition to force a debate on pancreatic cancer. Her husband Kevin died from the disease five years ago. He was just forty eight. Maggie wants more funding for research.

Load more updates