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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:55 am 
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Unproven food claims a recipe for disaster

A meeting of Australian government ministers from all jurisdictions could determine whether consumers are at risk of being misled by packaged foods carrying unsubstantiated marketing claims of a health benefit.

Australia’s two largest independent health groups, Cancer Council and the National Heart Foundation, are among a 12-member alliance of health and consumer organisations calling on governments to protect consumers from health claims that would not stand up to independent scrutiny.

The key concerns are that food companies may be able to put new products making health claims on the market before any independent verification – a recipe for misleading advertising at a time when diet-related health problems are on the rise.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said the draft standard on health claims, developed by the intergovernmental Food Standards Australia New Zealand, recommended independent, pre-market verification of claims three years ago.

“Now all of a sudden, in response to what appears to be aggressive lobbying from food companies, there is talk of letting the companies substantiate their own claims and introduce products to the market even before they are independently analysed,” Professor Olver said.

“This could be a disaster at a time when Australia faces a surge of diet-related cancer incidence and when we are urgently encouraging consumers to make healthier food choices.

“When consumers purchase products that claim, for example, to boost your immune system or be good for your bones, buyers have a right to assume that such claims have been independently verified.

“We urge the intergovernmental forum to put the health of consumers first, by endorsing a system that requires the independent food regulator to scrutinise any new health claims.”

CEO of the National Heart Foundation of Australia, Dr Lyn Roberts, said informed consumer food choices had led to a reduction in cardiovascular disease burden in Australia over recent years.

“Now we are at serious risk of going backwards, with an obesity epidemic and an unprecedented proliferation of packaged foods making claims of a health benefit,” Dr Roberts said.

“For governments to endorse such claims without independent testing would undermine consumer confidence in the integrity of Australia’s food labelling system. We could end up in a situation where consumers couldn’t trust what they see on food labels.”

Professor Olver said that in Europe, where health claims are independently verified, only about one in 10 of those submitted by food companies was supported by independent analysis.

http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/new ... ster/17650


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:08 am 
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Cancer group gets Dragons’ support

The St George Illawarra Dragons yesterday moved to play down their decision to bar an Illawarra cancer support group from campaigning outside WIN Stadium during last week’s home game, saying the club’s support for the cause was ‘‘never in question’’.

The Illawarra Cancer Carers (ICC) launched a community petition last month calling on the state government to install a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner at Wollongong Hospital.

The group had sought the Dragons’ permission to use last week’s clash with Cronulla Sharks to get signatures for the petition. However the club’s management knocked back the request due to other pre-booked charitable activity, leading ICC committee member Keith Wilson to express his disappointment in the outcome.

But Dragons community manager Paul Everill yesterday said the club’s decision had been ‘‘misrepresented’’.

Mr Everill met Mr Wilson ahead of last night’s game to clear the air and sign the petition on behalf of the club.

‘‘[There was] reference to us not supporting the Illawarra Cancer Carers, nothing could be further from the truth.

‘‘In terms of duty of care, in terms of numbers, we just couldn’t have another charitable association with us,’’ he said, but admitted he did not know how many supporters the ICC wanted to send to the grounds.

Mr Everill also rejected claims the ICC had been barred from campaigning outside WIN Stadium, saying the club could not stop people conducting charity work outside sporting facilities.

But Mr Wilson said he believed asking the Dragons’ permission was the ‘‘right thing to do’’.

‘‘We always seek permission off anybody whose property or function we go to to operate there.’’

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news ... 37743.aspx


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:05 am 
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Daffodil Day fundraiser to fight cancer

ROCKED by the death of her friend at the age of 25, Mossman's Tammy Pelizzari was motivated to help cancer sufferers.

The inspiring volunteer set up the Cancer Council’s Mossman and Port Douglas volunteer branch and a local cancer support group after her friend was diagnosed with the fatal disease.

"Fourteen years ago, I lost my friend to stomach cancer, just 26 days after he was diagnosed," she said.

"I was devastated. He was very young, he was only 25.

"It had a huge effect on all of us in our group of friends.

"He was married to my best friend and there was no support services in the area – that prompted us to do something about it."

Ms Pelizzari’s tireless efforts in supporting cancer patients in the area has been recognised by the Cancer Council in naming her Far North Queensland’s Face of Hope this Daffodil Day.

Preparing for the annual event on August 24, Ms Pelizzari hopes to one day see a breakthrough to stop cancer.

"For me, Daffodil Day is about making people smile, about reminding my community that we are here to help, and that with a little bit of hope, everything is going to be okay," she said.

Cancer Council Regional Fundraising Co-ordinator Lynsie James hopes more than 780,000 fresh daffodils will be sold this year across the state in a bid to raise $1.9 million.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/0 ... -news.html


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:28 am 
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Probe over cancer sufferer's 'miracle' recovery

A British woman who said she was fighting cancer is under investigation amid suspicions she used donations for treatment to pay for an extravagant wedding.

Danielle Howard made a remarkable recovery from the cancer just weeks after her wedding and then told followers on Twitter that she was pregnant.

Guests at her wedding to Chris Watson had paid throusands of dollars for the wedding and for specialist cancer treatment.

The fundraiser had the backing of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

But now Mrs Watson has been arrested on suspicion of using the donations to pay for the wedding.

A few weeks after the wedding she tweeted: "This may be hard for people to believe but it’s been harder for me to believe."

She has been arrested as part of a fraud inquiry which is believed to focus on £6,000 raised for a holistic cancer treatment known as vitamin C intravenous therapy, Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported.

Her struggle against stage four cervical cancer became front page news locally in April after she launched a campaign to raise money for a specialist cancer treatment not available on the NHS.

Businesses backed Mrs Watson's fundraising campaign after she told local newspapers in January of her predicament.

She told local reporters: "As soon as I was told I had stage four cancer I thought about Jade Goody and what happened to her. She was older than me and she still died. Is this going to happen to me?

"A 15 per cent chance doesn’t sound a lot to most people, but to me it’s all I have. I’m not giving up."

Mrs Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/mp ... -recovery/


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:22 am 
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Don your denim today

ARARAT - Jeans for Genes Day is more than an excuse to wear your favourite pair of jeans - it's an initiative to raise much-needed funds for children's medical research.

Today workplaces, schools and streets everywhere will be awash with denim in a united stance against childhood disease.

The idea is simple - participants pay for the privilege to discard their standard getup in favour of jeans and every dollar you raise or donate towards Jeans for Genes Day will help to bring tomorrow's treatments and cures closer - for the benefit of children everywhere.

The work of the scientists at Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) has a single aim - to improve and extend the lives of children everywhere.

One in twenty children is born with a congenital abnormality or genetic disease. That's over 12,000 children born in Australia each year. CMRI is dedicated to changing this.

Since its inception in 1958, CMRI has been a pioneer in the field of paediatric medical research. Its many achievements include increasing survival rates of premature babies, establishing Australia's first research unit for newborns, developing life saving microsurgery techniques, and introducing vaccines that protect against a number of potentially fatal or disabling childhood diseases.

Medical research is the only way to discover cures for conditions affecting children such as cancer, epilepsy and a range of genetic defects, many of which can also improve the lives of adults.

When you support Jeans for Genes you are helping unravel cures for future generations of children.

CMRI's vital work does not receive guaranteed government funding and relies on community support. There's no better feeling than knowing you are helping future generations of kids - all while having fun!

So throw on your jeans today or purchase some fun merchandise at many participating businesses around Ararat today.

http://www.araratadvertiser.com.au/news ... 43170.aspx


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:33 am 
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Shock as LNP government winds up iconic statewide cancer service BreastScreen

BREASTSCREEN Queensland - the iconic statewide cancer service credited with saving thousands of lives - will be dismantled by the Newman Government.

The plan to break up the service, as well as bowel and cervical cancer programs, has shocked the Queensland Cancer Council, which now fears lives will be put at risk.

The state's 17 hospital and health boards will be given responsibility to co-ordinate and plan mammograms and other cancer tests.

They will be given a budget to provide services and set their own priorities for patient care. Board members will include clinicians, academics, small business owners and local identities.

It means BreastScreen Queensland, which has been operating for more than 20 years and last year had a budget of almost $44 million, will no longer centrally control mobile breast screening vans or radiographer staff relief pools. A spokesman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said services should be provided locally.

Alarm raised over breast cancer tests

WOMEN are being treated unnecessarily for breast cancer due to mammograms "overdiagnosing" cancers which would never cause harm, a study has revealed. ..

Cancer Council spokeswoman Anne Savage said the decision could compromise the effective delivery of a vital service for women.

"It is unclear whether the devolution of public health functions to hospital and health services could result in discretionary decision-making that doesn't conform to clinical guidelines and evidence-based screening practices," she said.

Breast cancer survivor Dianne Lewis, when told of the plan, had a simple message for Mr Newman: "Don't change the system that saved my life."

Today, Mrs Lewis, 50, has outlined her case in a letter to Mr Newman, whose Government plans to dismantle BreastScreen Queensland and devolve its functions to 17 new hospital and health boards.

The mother of three has penned a letter to Mr Newman.

"Please, please, please I am begging you on behalf of all Queenslanders do not make any changes...the system works how it is," she said
"I am living proof of that and by making changes you are putting peoples life's at risk."

It was BreastScreen Queensland that sent Mrs Lewis a letter in 2006 to remind her she was due for a routine check-up.

Shortly after her visit, she received a follow-up call asking her to come back. That was when the cancer was detected.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said no patient would be worse off and that mammograms were already provided in regional areas. She said patients would not notice any difference.

The head of Public Health and Social Work at Queensland University of Technology, MaryLou Fleming, said the model could fail because some health boards might not provide the same services or have the same priorities.

http://www.news.com.au/national/shock-a ... 6442891276


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:42 am 
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Qld govt cuts funds for Heart Foundation

THE Queensland government will stop funding the Heart Foundation's popular walking program.

The program costs $700,000 over three years and supports about 5000 walkers each year.

Sport and Recreation Minister Steve Dickson says he will stop funding the program at the end of the year.

He blamed the previous government for failing to provide a proper funding stream for the program.

"And rather than being paid for through a budgeted, transparent stream, money was redirected with no accountability from ... the grants budget, reducing the ability to fund other sporting programs," Mr Dickson said in a statement.

Mr Dickson said the walking program was funded by the Heart Foundation in every other state.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/breakin ... 6447243411


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:42 am 
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Minister calls for inquiry into alleged rorts

ASHLEY HALL: The Federal Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, says he's concerned by reports from whistleblowers that senior managers in his department have ignored evidence of rorting in the aged care industry.

Current and former commonwealth nursing officers say some of their managers told them to look the other way when they found false funding claims submitted by aged care providers.

Mr Butler says he wants an explanation from the department.

Sally Sara reports.

SALLY SARA: The Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, is promising to investigate whether some of his department's senior managers have failed to properly keep watch over billions of dollars in aged care funding.

Nurses from inside the department blew the whistle last night on the ABC, saying they were told to look the other way when they found evidence of rorting by aged care providers.

Mr Butler says he will seek further information.

MARK BUTLER: I’m concerned that there are nursing officers doing their job at the coal face, trying to protect taxpayer dollars, and more importantly, make sure that nursing home residents are being looked after.

If they don't feel they are getting the hearing they should from their senior managers, I'm concerned about and I'll be asking for an explanation from the department about it.

SALLY SARA: The nurses are from three states across Australia. Their job was to go out to aged care facilities and check the funding claims submitted by providers.

They say the claims they saw were inflated by the providers to get more funding under the Federal Government's Aged Care Funding Instrument, known as ACFI.

NURSE (voiceover): The questions that don't require assessment by a doctor were rorted the most.

NURSE 2 (voiceover): Those who do the right thing are bullied by their peers and managers in the department.

SALLY SARA: The nurses don't want their real names or voices broadcast because they fear repercussions from the Department of Ageing.

They say some aged care facilities had two sets of files for each resident. One was real and used to guide day to day care, the other was fake and used to exaggerate the resident's care needs, to get more government funding

NURSE 3 (voiceover): Everywhere they had “just in case” files, one on the floor to work with and one for the ACFI.

NURSE 4 (voiceover): When I read the files, it was like reading about two different people.

NURSE 5 (voiceover): There were two sets of documents, one for the care of the resident and created for ACFI funding claims. There were many registered nurses and health professionals who created false documents themselves, or instructed others to do so.

SALLY SARA: Many aged care residents and their families are unaware of the Aged Care Funding Instrument, or ACFI.

It's an assessment to calculate the Government's funding per resident, per day.

One Sydney family found out their father had been reassessed as needing high care, even though he was independent. The man's daughter wants only to be known as Mary because she fears his care may be compromised if she uses her full name.

MARY: The families are not aware that this exists, because the most you probably know is that when your relative goes to aged care they have an assessment by a local aged care team from a local hospital. And as far as you know, that's the only assessment.

SALLY SARA: Mary's says her father's assessment was inflated by the aged care facility, but he didn't receive any extra care.

MARY: But it wasn't being spent on my father or probably anybody else there because nothing changed in all the years he was there. He didn't get anything.

SALLY SARA: Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, concedes that while funding to the industry has increased, some providers have not employed more staff.

MARK BUTLER: Last year's budget was about 70 per cent higher than it was five years ago. But, over the same period of time, we know that the number of registered nurses in aged care has actually dropped.

SALLY SARA: But the aged care industry says times are tough for many providers, especially smaller and not for profit organisations.

Gerard Mansour, from Leading Age Service Australia, says providers are not over claiming.

GERARD MANSOUR: I am not aware of a situation of sanctions in relation to over claiming, but the interest of the provider is to get it right first time. I mean we are entitled to a certain amount of money for the care needs of residents. And there's an enormous effort by the industry to get that right first time.

SALLY SARA: The Federal Government introduced changes to aged care funding on July 1st, to crackdown on over claiming, but it's still unclear whether the reforms will hit their target.

ASHLEY HALL: Sally Sara.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/conten ... 570014.htm


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:24 am 
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Another win for anti-cancer fighter

MORE than most doctors, Kylie Mason knows the debilitating side effects of cancer treatment.

Diagnosed at 15 with leukaemia, the experience set her on a path that last night saw her awarded the L'Oreal For Women in Science Fellowship.

''I actually wanted to be a coroner,'' she said. ''But my experience at the Royal Children's as a teenager meant all of my role models were doctors and nurses and specialists.''

She now works both treating and researching blood cancers, including leukaemia, at Parkville's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

''I feel like I have a unique empathy with my patients,'' she said.

In the laboratory she works with a team developing an anti-cancer drug that has now reached human trials.

With colleagues, Dr Mason was able to establish a link between the drug and a drop in the number of platelets in the blood.

''Working from that we discovered the mechanism behind what makes platelets live and die,'' she said. ''This drug targets [that mechanism] and tells the cancer cell to die.''

She said because the treatment was so targeted, it meant side effects associated with chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea and vomiting, were reduced.

''It's the first drug in its class in that it targets this pathway in cancer cells and it works in a different way, which is advantageous because cancer cells develop new ways around drugs and adapt to the treatment,'' she said.

One of three early career researchers awarded the fellowship in Melbourne last night, Dr Mason said the drug was designed to be taken with other cancer treatments.

''Be it in a petri dish or in a patient, cancer cells adapt. So this multiple-drug approach is important as it minimises the ability of the cell to adapt,'' she said.

Two of the three fellows announced last night were from Melbourne.

Swinburne University's Dr Baohua Jia was awarded her fellowship for creating solar cells that increase efficiency by 23 per cent thanks to nanotechnology. The cells use quantum dots to convert ultraviolet light to visible light, which otherwise would have been missed.

Dr Suetonia Palmer from the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand - still working from temporary facilities as the city rebuilds - was awarded her fellowship for research into kidney disease.

It's the sixth year the award has been open to Australian researchers and first year that New Zealanders were able to enter.

Each of the fellows is awarded $25,000, which can be used to fund further research as well as for expenses incurred by working - be it childcare or travel to international conferences.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/healt ... z24D6HRIcp


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:38 am 
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Daffodil Day all about hope

IT'S all about hope tomorrow.

Each day, an estimated 300 Australians are told they have cancer while another 100 people will die from the disease.

But the daffodil continues to stand as an international symbol for hope.

Tomorrow is about giving hope to the many lives affected by cancer; hope for better treatments, hope for more survivors, and hope for a cancer-free future.

The largest national fundraising event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, The Cancer Council hopes to raise $1.9 million across the state through Daffodil day.

Cancer Council Queensland regional fundraising co-ordinator Casandra Kunst is calling on the Gladstone community to help make it a "blooming" success.

"If you think the one in two who gets cancer is one too many, please lend a hand and help us turn Gladstone yellow in support of all Queenslanders affected by cancer," she said. "Your support will help us to grow hope for better treatments, hope for more survivors, and hope for a cancer free future."

This year's Daffodil Day range includes pens for $6, enamel lapel pins for $5, key rings for $8, footballs for $7, collectable "gardener" Dougal bears for $10, large Dougal bears for $30 and bunches of fresh daffodils.

http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/sto ... r-council/


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:05 am 
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Cancer survivor, triathlete, movie star: Lance Armstrong, All-American hero?

THE FALLEN king of world cycling survived testicular cancer, raised more than $325m for charity and became a Twitter superstar, making a huge impression on the lives of millions away from his sport.

In 1997, Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supports people affected by cancer.

The foundation has become one of the top 10 groups funding cancer research in the U.S., raising more than $325 million from the sale of yellow Livestrong bracelets.

Armstrong had three children with with first wife Kristin Richard: Luke David, born October 1999, and twins Isabelle Rose and Grace Elisabeth, born November 2001.

He was pictured with his kids on Tour de France podium ceremony in 2005, where Luke helped his father hoist the trophy, while his daughters (in yellow dresses) held the stuffed lion mascot and bouquet of yellow flowers.

Armstrong began dating singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow in 2003 and revealed their relationship in January 2004.

The couple announced their engagement in September 2005 and their split in February 2006.

In December 2008, Armstrong announced that his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, was pregnant with his child.

Although it was believed that Armstrong could no longer father children, after having undergone chemotherapy for testicular cancer, this child was conceived naturally. Maxwell Edward Armstrong, was born in 2009 in Aspen, Colorado. Armstrong announced the birth via Twitter.

In April 2010, Armstrong, using Twitter, announced that Anna Hansen was having his fifth child. Olivia Marie Armstrong was born in October 2010.

In 2007, Armstrong with Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Tony Hawk and others founded Athletes for Hope, a charity which helps professional athletes get involved in charitable causes and inspires non-athletes to volunteer and support the community.

During his original retirement beginning after the 2005 season, he was the pace car driver of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 for the 2006 Indianapolis 500.

In 2008 and 2009 he appeared on the PBS Kids show Arthur as himself.

In August 2009, Armstrong headlined the inaugural charity ride "Pelotonia" in Columbus, Ohio, riding over 100 miles on Saturday with the large group of cyclists. He personally addressed the riders the Friday evening before the two-day ride and helped the ride raise millions for cancer research

Armstrong ran the 2006 New York City Marathon with friends Robert McElligott and Lewis Miles. He struggled with shin splints and was on pace for a little above 3 hours but pushed through the last 5 miles (8.0 km) to 2h 59m 36s, finishing 856th.

He said the race was extremely difficult compared to the Tour de France.

Armstrong ran the 2007 NYC Marathon in 2h 46m 43s finishing 232nd.

On April 21, 2008, he ran the Boston Marathon in 2h 50m 58s, finishing in the top 500.

Armstrong made his return to triathlon in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Panama race, on February 12, 2012.

He raced in the Professional category, finishing with a time of 3:50:55, 2nd overall to Bevan Docherty.

Armstrong's splits were 19:22 for the 1.2 mile swim, 2:10:18 for the 56 mile bike, and 1:17:01 for the run.

He starred in Hollywood movies The Road to Paris (himself, 2000 documentary) and DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story (himself, cameo)

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cycli ... 6457459439


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:44 am 
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Column: We no longer need Lance the doper, but Lance the cancer fighter must keep riding

“Hell” is how one cancer patient describes it — the helpless feeling of sitting in a hospital room all alone, a potion that is both toxic and lifesaving flowing into her body.

When she didn’t know whether she would live or die, when she didn’t know if she could possibly endure another round of the horrifying chemo treatments at St. Luke’s in New York, there was someone who helped her endure.

No, not Lance the fallen two-wheeled star whose reputation and cycling legacy is in tatters. The other Lance, the philanthropist and cancer survivor who has inspired so many.

“I know firsthand how much good he’s done,” said the woman, whose cancer is now in remission but asked that her name not be used because she’s a public figure and isn’t ready to let the world know about her condition. “He’s touched too many lives to stop now. He’s given hope to too many people.”

Armstrong made cycling cool in America with seven straight Tour de France titles. He will likely be stripped of them all because of what he put in his body.

That Lance is done, gone forever.

We hope the other Lance continues to serve. So many still need him.

“I think saving millions of lives — and I’m not exaggerating by any means — far outweighs any athletic accomplishment,” said Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau, who, like Armstrong, survived testicular cancer.

This is the dichotomy we’re faced with after Armstrong decided not to dispute the charges leveled against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He still refuses to acknowledge using any performance-enhancing drugs, but that’s essentially what he did when he decided not to carry on the fight. His reasoning — that he was simply tired of contesting accusations that first came up more than a decade ago — rings hollow, to say the least.

After all, he had stared down cancer when told he had less than a 50-50 chance of living. He had turned the towering Pyrenees into tame little hills during all those glorious Tour de France triumphs, refusing to be beaten no matter the physical toll on his body.

To give up now? Well, USADA must’ve had quite an impressive case against him.

It’s time to let go of that Lance — the disgraced doper, like so many in his sport, not to mention one who can be sullen and snarky — and embrace the other side of the man.

The charismatic figure who started a foundation that raised a half a billion dollars, and counting, for the fight against cancer. The caring person who shows up at hospitals unannounced, without an entourage, giving so many victims of this dreaded disease a reason to live. Maybe he does it with a few words. Maybe it’s just sitting with them while they’re undergoing treatments.

All of it helps tremendously.

“Livestrong has almost made cancer acceptable,” said Shanteau, who started working with Armstrong’s foundation after he underwent successful surgery. “That’s such a dangerous word — to ‘accept’ — but people are willing to talk about it now. People are willing to address it. People are willing to support it. Livestrong has done that. Lance should be proud that his organization, in a sense, has outgrown him.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/co ... story.html


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:16 am 
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Tone up in just two minutes

NO time for a full workout? No problem! Just do two-minute intervals of these do-anywhere exercises throughout the day

1. Raised push-ups

Why? Target the chest, arms and core, and can be done anywhere.

How? Throughout the day, be on the lookout for good push-up spots. It might be the front of a chair (pictured), a park bench or a low, secure fence. Stay on the balls of your feet, hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, and lower your chest to the object. Lightly touch it, then rise.

Sets and reps: 8-15 reps, 3-5 times a day.

2. Step-ups

Why? These are great for every muscle in the legs and are also a good way of getting your heart rate up.

How? Throughout the day, look out for low steps or benches that are about knee height. Step up onto the bench with one leg, then down again. Then repeat on the other leg.

Sets and reps: 20-30 reps each time you see an appropriate step.

3. Core breaths

Why? Train the core muscles in a different way to the plank (below).

How? Sit on a chair without back support. Sit tall and lengthen the gap between your bellybutton and sternum, and imagine you have an apple between your chin and chest. Throughout the day, whenever you’re seated and focusing on these posture cues, lean your torso back about 10 degrees.

You’ll feel your core muscles grip and it will be difficult to maintain the posture. That’s the challenge. Hold for three breaths, then sit up.

Sets and reps: 5-10 reps, 3-5 times a day.

4. Squats

Why? You get the best results from doing exercises that target your biggest muscles. The squat targets all the big lower-body muscles.

How? Throughout the day, whenever you see a chair, a bench or anything else that you’re supposed to sit on, perform a squat. Facing away from the chair, with the back of your legs about 20cm away, squat so your butt touches the chair lightly, then stand up.

Sets and reps: 8-15 reps, 3-5 times a day.

5. Plank

Why? A great do-anywhere exercise that teaches your core muscles to engage.

How? Try it on your forearms and feet first. If you can’t maintain your posture, raise the surface where you rest your arms. Make sure your hips don’t sag, your butt is not up in the air, your chest is over your hands, your neck is long and you squeeze your core muscles.

Sets and reps: Sets of 20-60 seconds 3-5 times a day.

After your morning shower, brace your core by trying to reduce the circumference of your waist. As you do this, tie a piece of string around your waist at the level of your bellybutton. Throughout the day, every time you release your core muscles you’ll feel the string tighten. Eventually you’ll be engaging your core without even noticing.

http://www.news.com.au/news/tone-up-in- ... z25FsBOGt6


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:29 am 
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Scientologists offer Vietnamese Agent Orange 'detox'

VIETNAMESE with Agent Orange ailments are being offered vitamins and saunas by Scientologists as a way to "detox."

Scientologists use the "Hubbard Method" to try to cure drug addiction and alcoholism. The church set up a centre in New York after the 9/11 attacks offering a similar service for first responders who may have been exposed to toxins.

A group of 24 people arrived for treatment at a military hospital in Hanoi for a month, free of charge, said Dau Xuan Tuong, deputy administrator at the Vietnam Association of Agent Orange Victims. He said 22 people underwent the treatment in 2011 in northern Thai Binh province.

"Their health has improved after the treatment, and some saw their chronic illnesses disappear," he said. "We need to do more scientific research to determine its impact."

It was not possible to immediately get comment from the Scientology movement. Proponents have said the detoxification program improves people's quality of life.

The US military dumped some (75 million litres of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971, decimating about 2 million hectares of forest - roughly the size of Massachusetts - to remove the foliage that concealed enemy fighters.

Dioxins in it have since been linked to birth defects, cancers and other ailments, but the United States maintains there is no evidence Agent Orange has caused the health problems among Vietnamese. Washington has compensated American soldiers for ailments they say were caused by the compound, however.

"I hope my wife and I will fully recover completely and will not suffer after-effects to pass on to my descendants," prospective patient Nguyen Dai Sang was quoted as saying in the Viet Nam News daily.

US Embassy spokesman Christopher Hodges said Washington was not funding the program and said "we are not aware of any safe, effective detoxification treatment for people with dioxin in body tissues."

It wasn't known what other medical care the participants were receiving. Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard opposed psychiatry and the use of drugs for mental illness and addictions, but church members accept conventional medical treatment for physical conditions.

Actor Tom Cruise co-founded the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, where participants were each given vitamins and nutritional counselling and participated in daily exercise and sauna sessions. He defended it at the time as helping the workers recover.

Critics, many of them scientists, have said there is no evidence the "Hubbard Method" does any good.

It was unclear if the Vietnamese government was aware of those concerns before agreeing to try the project.

Last month, the US began a landmark project cleaning up toxins from the site of a former air base in Danang in central Vietnam. Part of the former base consists of a dry field where US troops once stored and mixed the defoliant before it was loaded onto planes.

Washington has been quibbling for years over the need for more scientific research to show that the herbicide caused health problems among Vietnamese.

It has given about $US60 million ($58.5 million) for environmental restoration and social services in Vietnam since 2007, including to disabled people, but the Danang project is its first direct involvement in cleaning up dioxin, which has seeped into Vietnam's soil and watersheds.

http://www.news.com.au/news/agent-orang ... z25ig2vapE


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:24 am 
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Hanks, Roberts Among Stars on 'Stand up to Cancer'

Cancer is big, but so are the celebrities determined to help conquer it.

Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Vergara and Robert Pattinson were among dozens of stars who appeared Friday on the third Stand Up to Cancer telethon.

"Let's build a world where cancer is no more," a somber Hanks said on the hour-long program that was carried commercial-free by the major broadcast networks and a number of cable channels.

Some of the stars who participated had seen cancer sicken or claim a family member. Others had fought the disease themselves.

"It picked a fight with the wrong guy," said Douglas, who had throat cancer. "Cancer didn't bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet. I stand tonight because I want to be part of this effort to find an end to cancer. This is possible."

The telethon included short films about people fighting the disease, including a 3-year-old boy, Justin, who distracts himself from treatment with a favorite toy.

"I don't really think about me passing away. But if I ever do, I'm taking my Legos with me," he said in the video, with a feisty smile.

Onstage, Justin Timberlake asked the studio audience to stand up for the child, who attended the event.

"My buddy Justin is a fighter. That's what you have to be as a child facing a mountain like cancer," Timberlake said.

The program honored the memory of "Spider-Man" movie producer Laura Ziskin, who helped found Stand Up to Cancer. She died last year at age 61 after battling breast cancer for seven years.

"Like every great hero, she had a vision and she set us into motion," Emma Stone said in a videotaped tribute to Ziskin. "And now it's up to us to continue moving forward to achieve her dream."

The amount of money pledged during the telethon was not immediately available. Donations also can be made online at standup2cancer.org, the group said.

Taylor Swift performed a song she wrote for a young cancer victim, a 3-year-old who died last year. Swift wrote "Ronan" after reading the blog of the child's mother, Maya Thompson, who is credited as a co-writer.

The song is available on iTunes, with proceeds to go to cancer-related charities.

Other performers included Alicia Keys ("Not Even the King"), Coldplay ("Paradise") and Tim McGraw, who closed the show with his poignant "Live Like You Were Dying."

Among those staffing the phone banks were Olympic champion Gabby Douglas, Eric Stonestreet, Ray Romano and Chelsea Handler,

The broadcast walked a line between harsh reality and hope.

During Roberts' remarks, she cautioned viewers that one in two men and one in three women will get cancer and that cancer "kills a child every four hours in this country."

"This is why we have to support Stand Up to Cancer. This extraordinary movement has assembled dream teams of the best doctors and scientists collaborating at a frantic pace to save our lives," the actress said.

The entertainment community has gathered to go after this disease "with everything we've got," Roberts said.

Researchers said the fund supports collaborative team science and innovative ways of approaching new treatments.

Paltrow, who was an executive producer for the telethon, talked before the broadcast about her father, director Bruce Paltrow, who lost his life to cancer.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wir ... r-17188203


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