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Breakthroughs In The Treatment Of The UK's Biggest Killer

Jul 23, 2008
In moves that medical insurance companies countrywide will appreciate, the UK government are at long last, seeing the benefit and cost effectiveness of preventative medicine as opposed to trying to treat a problem after it has been developed.

The Human Papilloma Virus is something that many people carry that can cause things as minor as genital warts. It is easily picked up and is responsible for seven out of ten cases of cervical cancer. Thanks to modern technology, cervical cancer screening has been developed and treatments are relatively straight forward and, in the main, successful.

However, there are still four hundred deaths a year from cervical cancer that has not been picked up early enough. Medical insurance companies pay for the treatment of some of these cases yet even with the advanced health care this can bring, women are still dying from the disease. Women are dying from a preventable disease which really is unacceptable.

The UK government have now decided to put the necessary funds into a vaccine that is ready for nationwide distribution. This will prevent women from contracting the HPV in the first place and will save so many lives every year. It is to be made available as a routine vaccination at the age of twelve, expecting to cost the government 100 pounds million with a further 200 pounds million while they phase in treatment to make sure that girls up to the age of 18 are also covered.

It will be some time before the effects of the programme, sue to begin in September 2008, are seen and in the meantime health care professionals are urging women of all ages to continue with their routine screening processes. Routine cervical smears prevent 84 out of every 100 possible cervical cancer cases by detecting and allowing for treatment while the cell changes are still in the early stages.

When it comes to cancer of any type, this is one of the biggest costs to medical insurance companies and it takes the biggest toll on human life in the UK along with heart disease. However, breakthroughs are constantly being made and nature is one of our biggest sources of medicines. The Magnolia tree is the latest discovery in the prevention of cancer.

The cone of the Magnolia has been found to contain properties that block key processes in cells that are turning cancerous. However, once again, the Chinese go there first. They have been using this substance for years in their herbal medicines because it blocks on of the communication pathways that allows tumours to survive and grow.

The body has a natural process of killing off rogue cells but some cancers can tune into the pathway of an enzyme called Phospholipase D which enables the cancer cells to survive the body's self destruct mechanism. Turning off this ability will prevent the cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

Cancers that use this particular pathway account for a third of human cancers and research has found that the effective ingredient, Honokiol, is extremely potent in breast cancers. This is a massive breakthrough on the route to finding a cancer cure. To start with, the treatment will be used in conjunction with traditional chemotherapy and should make it more effective and hopefully, at some point in the future, less invasive and more natural methods of treating cancer will be a first choice.
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