BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7024.194 (Published 20 January 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:194

For 30 years or more Queensland in Australia has pioneered the prevention of malignant melanoma by public education campaigns designed to persuade its citizens to protect their skins from the sun. Yet with all this effort the reported incidence of the disease has doubled in the past decade (International Journal of Cancer 1995;63:765-8). The incidence in children aged 10-14 years is now 30 per million—the highest rate ever recorded and around seven times higher than the incidence in Europe.

The cholesterol and cancer story has taken a new twist with an allegation in “JAMA” (1996;275:55-60) that most of the cholesterol lowering drugs in current use have proved to be carcinogenic in experiments on mice and rats. The report is, however, accompanied by an editorial (275;67-9) saying that the evidence is unconvincing, leaving Minerva to wonder why “JAMA” chose to raise the issue at all.

Surgeons know that wearing two pairs of gloves protects them against needlestick injuries, but a study of 32 surgeons performing 384 operations found that many thought double gloving impaired their handling of instruments, tying of knots, and other fiddly techniques (Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 1996;78:20-2). The most comfortable way …

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