March 18th, 2014
Episode 215 of 342 episodes
A committee advising the Food and Drug Administration in the US has voted to change the way it tests women for cervical cancer by solely using a test that detects Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) rather than also using a standard smear test which looks for abnormal cell changes. The test is likely to become more widely used in the NHS than it is now. What advantages does it offer over smear tests and what difference will it make for women? Dr Mark Porter talks to Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine and GP Dr Margaret McCartney about the pros and cons. The HPV virus is responsible for a big increase in the number of oral cancers. Some researchers have even gone so far as to call it an epidemic. Mark talks to head and neck cancer surgeon Andrew Schache from the University of Liverpool to find out more about the reason for the rise in numbers. Also in the programme. You are when you eat. According to some diets, not eating in the evening can help you lose weight. But does the timing of when you eat really make a difference? Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, explains why the time you eat doesn't make a difference to whether you put on weight. Scar free surgery. Mark talks to Mikael Sodergren from Imperial College London, about the latest surgical innovation - natural orifice surgery. Surgery via natural orifices like the stomach and vagina can dramatically improve people's recovery after an operation reducing their pain and time in hospital. Currently only used in women, in the future it could be available for everyone with a robotic surgical device going in through the mouth and then being used to perform operations like an appendectomy via the stomach.