BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7146.1758 (Published 06 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1758

Some controlled trials of screening for colorectal cancer with tests for faecal occult blood have used health conscious volunteers in both groups. The controls have shown lower mortality than that in the general population, and a commentary in Cancer (1998;82:1803-7) claims that investment in health education might be more cost effective than population screening. The argument is that the risk of colorectal cancer could be cut by 30% if people could be persuaded to increase their fibre intake by 70%.

Phyto-oestrogens found in some plants such as soya beans may offer protection against cancers of the bowel, breast, and prostate and against coronary heart disease. Indeed, they may be part of the explanation of the longevity of vegetarians (British Journal of Nutrition 1998;79:393-406). These compounds, which seem to act partly as antioestrogens, are being marketed as health food supplements.

AHRTAG is the unpronounceable acronym for the Appropriate Health Resources and Technologies Action Group, a charity that for 21 years has been helping poor communities around the world by giving them access to practical health information. It has now changed its name to Healthlink. More information from http://www.ahrtag.org/

HIV infection continues to be managed in exceptional ways in terms of …

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