Blog and News

5 Forms Of Prostate Cancer Identified

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Men looking for the best private GPs Bedfordshire has to offer should be pleased with the news that research into prostate cancer has identified five different forms of the disease.

Defining the different forms the disease can take means treatment options could be refined in a way that could improve their effectiveness and resulting survival rates.

Cancer Research UK headed the study, which looked at prostate cancer in over 250 men, and found significant differences in their cancers. These were controlled by over 1,000 genes and analysis of 100 of these could provide a better insight into the risk of disease progression than the Gleason score and PSA test which is currently used.

Prior to this study, just six genes were known to control prostate cancer tumours.

The five different groups they found had gene abnormalities that caused the following:

DNA deletions and low activity of some genes.

High DNA replication leading to high activity of some genes.

Then the further three groups had copy number alterations which caused changes in the activity of some genes.

The first part of the study involved tests being carried out on cancerous prostates that had been removed from 150 men in Cambridge, and these results were then confirmed in the same way by studying cancers of 100 men who were based in Sweden.

Men with higher levels of genetic changes were more likely to face a relapse after surgery to remove the cancer. This finding could lead to more targeted treatment of more aggressive cancers.

5 Million Brits ‘Have High Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes’

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You may be inspired to make an appointment with a Herts weight loss service to help you make positive lifestyle changes and be more active after reading the results of a Public Health England (PHE) study revealing that five million people are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Commissioned by the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) and compiled by PHE’s National Cardiovascular Health Intelligence Network, the report found that many of those over the age of 16 in England have blood sugar levels that indicate non-diabetic hyperglycaemia.

Programmes like the NHS DPP can be helpful in preventing 26 per cent of those at high risk of developing the disease from going on to eventually suffer from it, according to a PHE evidence review.

“We know how to lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes: lose weight, exercise and eat healthily, but it’s hard to do it alone. PHE’s evidence review shows that supporting people along the way will help them protect their health and that’s what our prevention programme will do,” chief executive of PHE Duncan Selbie said.

While Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, according to Diabetes UK up to 80 per cent of all Type 2 diabetes cases can either be prevented or delayed by making a few changes in lifestyle. You can reduce your risk by eating healthily and getting more exercise.

Discuss your concerns with your local GP and consider making good use of the healthy eating plans on the Diabetes UK website.

Improve Your Sperm Count

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If you are looking to conceive you may want to talk to the best private doctor Beds has to offer to make sure you get off on the best start.

Many men worry about their sperm count and this can be tested. However, if you are only just planning on trying to conceive then there are some things you can do to improve your sperm count and thus increase your chance of conceiving.

Lifestyle choices that can affect your sperm count include alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, diet and also exercise and clothing choice!


Excessive alcohol consumption can decrease testosterone production which affects both libido and sperm count. It can damage the liver, impeding the metabolism of vitamin A which is required for proper sperm development according to Drink Aware. It is advised you avoid alcohol if you want to improve your sperm count.


Smoking increases the number of free radicals in your sperm, and also makes them more vulnerable to free radicals, meaning that smoking has a two pronged effect on sperm production and quality. Free radicals can cause genetic mutations which prevent the sperm from moving properly, being able to fertilise the egg, or producing a healthy embryo which can implant.


Infertility is more common in men who are obese. Heavier men have been found to ejaculate a lower volume of semen and also have a lower sperm count. This is thought to be as fat stores testosterone agonist oestrogen which can impeded the body’s ability to produce sperm.

PHE: E-Cigs Significantly Less Harmful Than Smoking

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Talk to your private Bedfordshire GP if you want to give up smoking and discuss with them the benefits of swapping to an e-cigarette. New research has suggested that e-cigs are in fact approximately 95 per cent less harmful than smoking and could help you to quit.

Figures from Public Health England (PHE) have shown that 44.8 per cent of people still don’t realise that e-cigs are less harmful than smoking and, what’s more, that there is no evidence that has been produced thus far to show that they serve as a route to taking up smoking in the first place.

The review found that nearly all of the 2.6 million UK adults that use e-cigs are either former or current smokers, the majority of whom are using them as an aid to give up or to prevent them from returning to actual cigarettes.

Director of health and wellbeing at PHE professor Kevin Fenton said: “E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting.”

This comes after research from the University Clinic of Urology at MedUni Vienna found that there is a link between smoking and prostate cancer. And those smokers and ex-smokers who have had their prostate gland removed because of cancer are twice as likely to see the cancer return.

Giving up can be difficult but with the help of your local Bedfordshire GP, you’re sure to be able to do it.

New Meningitis Vaccination Programme Now Live

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Luton GPs will now be inviting those aged between 17 and 18 to have a vaccination against meningitis as part of the new MenACWY programme intended to offer protection to this at-risk demographic.

School-leavers intending to go to university are now being advised by Public Health England (PHE) to ensure they get vaccinated before they leave as they will be mixing with lots of new people who may, unbeknown to them, be carrying the meningococcal bacteria.

Head of immunisation at PHE Dr Mary Ramsay said people should be vaccinated prior to the start of term, preferably two weeks in advance and they should make an appointment with their local GP as soon as they can once the vaccine has been offered to them.

“First time university entrants from 19 to 24 years of age inclusive should also contact their GP for the vaccination. Meningitis can be deadly and survivors are often left with severe disabilities as a result of this terrible disease. This vaccine will save lives and prevent permanent disability,” she said.

If you’re concerned, get in touch with us here at The Thornhill Clinic and we can arrange an appointment for you.

We also now offer the meningitis B vaccine for young children, a vaccine that will only become available on the NHS from September. Until then, you can make an appointment with us and have your children vaccinated against the group B bacteria, one of the causes of blood poisoning and meningitis. This is the leading infectious killer of young children so you need to make sure your family is protected.

Internet Self-Diagnosis On The Rise?

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Instead of booking an appointment with Bedfordshire urology services or similar, people are increasingly taking to the internet to check their symptoms and self-diagnose, new research has revealed.

According to a study published in the UK Digital Health Report and conducted by, one in four Britons now use the internet to come to their own decisions regarding their health instead of making an appointment to see the doctor, the Daily Express reports.

It was suggested that this was down to lack of patience, with people unwilling to change their plans to make time to see their local GP, while almost 50 per cent of those asked admitted that they would not miss the chance to enjoy a lie-in in order to go and see the doctor.

“Healthcare providers need to find ways to stay relevant to patients who are getting used to ‘always-on’ services in other aspects of their lives,” chief medical officer at Dr Adam Simon was quoted as saying.

There is a name for excessive internet checking of medical symptoms – cyberchondria. This has been around for some years now and doctrs are increasingly becoming concerned about the fact that people can now research their symptoms online and increase any feelings of hypochondria that they may already be experiencing.

If you do think there’s something medically wrong with you, avoid going online if at all possible and make an appointment with your local Bedfordshire GP at your earliest convenience. They’ll be able to put your mind at ease a lot quick than the internet will.

Obese Men ‘Will Struggle’ To Attain Healthy Body Weight

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Overweight and obese men may benefit from visiting Beds weight loss services to help them shed the pounds, given new research revealing that current weight loss programmes are not proving useful for the majority of obese patients in the UK.

Conducted by Kings College London (KCL), the study found that obese men have a one in 210 chance of reaching a healthy body weight, while obese women stand a one in 124 chance.

Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the report revealed that while a high number of people were able to lose five per cent of their body weight, the majority did regain the pounds after a few years. Obese men have a one in 12 chance of achieving this five per cent weight loss each year (one in ten for women), but of the 53 per cent who did achieve this, just 22 per cent were able to maintain it.

“Once an adult becomes obese, it is very unlikely that they will return to a healthy body weight. New approaches are urgently needed to deal with this issue,” Dr Alison Fildes of KCL’s Division of Health and Social Care Research said.

The NHS is currently looking into weight loss DNA testing as a way of tackling obesity in patients – which is something that we here at The Thornhill Clinic also offer. We examine a number of gene variants to help work out how your body reacts to exercise and food to help devise a weight loss regime that’s specific to you.

14,841 Pints Of Beer ‘Drunk Every Minute’

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Hertfordshire alcohol testing services should perhaps make note of the amount of alcohol that is drunk in the UK every minute, with a new infographic revealing that 14,841 pints of beer and 13,923 glasses of wine are drunk every 60 seconds, costing £30,000.

Created by Voucherbox, the research shows £15 billion is spend by Brits each year, whether they’re in the pub or at home. White wine was shown to be the country’s favourite drink, with 24 bottles polished off each second, followed by red wine at 23 bottles a second, the Daily Mail reports.

If you’re worried about the amount that you drink or about the amount that one of your friends or family members drink, it might be a good idea to think about making an appointment with your local GP. Rest assured that you’ll be able to discuss your concerns in a safe and confidential setting, without facing any judgement, and you’ll be able to gain access to whatever help you need.

By visiting your doctor you’ll access a support network instantly and be able to take advantage of a wealth of information and advice to point you in the right direction. It’s always better to talk to someone if you do have any worries on your mind. Don’t bottle your emotions up as you could end up making your situation much worse.

Don’t be afraid of making an appointment – all our doctors here at the Thornhill Clinic are professional, discreet and friendly so you have nothing to worry about.

7-Day Working Week For Hospital Doctors?

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If you’re worried about your health and have been making appointments with Bedfordshire GPs, you’ll be interested to hear that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that a seven-day working week for hospital doctors could soon become a reality.

Mr Hunt has now set a deadline of September for the British Medical Association (BMA) to reach an agreement on the working hours of healthcare professionals, the BBC reports, saying that 6,000 people die each year because of the “Monday to Friday” way of thinking that pervades parts of the NHS.

At the moment, senior doctors don’t have to work weekends as long as there are no emergencies, although they must still be on call. By removing the right to opt out, sufficient senior doctors will soon be working over the weekends to drive up standards, Mr Hunt said.

“The problem dates back to 2003 when the then government gave consultants the right to opt out of working at weekends – that’s a right that nurses don’t have, midwives don’t have, paramedics, ambulance drivers and so on don’t have and that has created a Monday to Friday culture in many parts of the NHS with tragic consequences for patients,” he was quoted as saying.

However, the BMA has responded, stating that the health secretary’s speech is nothing but empty rhetoric and it remains to be seen how he intends to pay for additional weekend care or to ensure that mid-week services don’t see a reduction in the numbers of staff members on site.

Weight Loss Surgery Can ‘Ruin Lives’ Claims Expert

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A prominent surgical consultant at London’s Homerton hospital has unveiled figures that reveal the dark side of weight loss surgery, urging the overweight to consider all the options open to them, such weight loss DNA testing, before making the decision to have gastric bands fitted.

In an interview with the Independent, Ray Shidrawi described how patients can be left with life-long issues stemming from procedures such as gastric bypasses, including crippling pain and inability to swallow solid foods.

According to the consultant, the NHS are using surgeries such as these as a ‘panacea’ for weight problems, criticising the body for lowering the threshold for doctors to assess on gastric bands on the NHS from a body mass index (BMI) of 35, down to 30 – a BMI that’s considered moderately obese. The changes meant up to 2 million more British people were eligible for bypasses on the NHS.

He also presented statistics with his criticism, showing that out of the 1,974 patients who underwent bariatric surgery, 150 were left with serious complications. These seven per cent of patients are left with life-altering difficulties that may prevent them eating properly for the rest of the lives.

The doctor says that in calculated risk evaluation, the results of the procedure only outweigh the risks with patients who have a BMI of 40 who would otherwise die.

Weight loss DNA testing is a scientific way of approaching weight loss – analysing genes involved in the weight loss process, such as those are involved in your body’s response to exercise and certain foods. After testing, you’ll be presented with a personalised guide to tell you what you should be eating and how you should be exercising, removing the guesswork out of weight loss.