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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:41 am 
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Cancer teen's dreams fuelled by All Blacks

While Porirua teenager Pariss Patelesio battles cancer, the All Blacks could help her realise her dying wishes.

They have given her a signed rugby jersey to auction in the hope that it will help the 14-year-old fulfil some of her dreams.

Pariss wants to go to theme parks in Australia and get to the top of the Auckland Skytower.

The Bishop Viard College pupil has had 10 months of chemotherapy and a knee reconstruction since she was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in March last year.

The normally shy schoolgirl was transformed on Saturday when she put on the signed All Blacks jersey for the first time, father Phillip Patelesio said.

"She turned into a model all of a sudden and was walking up and down the pathway to the clothesline. She was walking like it was a catwalk. There were eight cameras from family members and there was flashing going on and everything. It was a bit of a crack-up."

Patelesio said his family of seven would try to "lay down some really good memories" while visiting family in Brisbane.

They will leave this Friday.

"I think she just wants to escape the reality for a while and have a hoot over there with theme parks and all that."

Pariss said she had grown fond of the Skytower while receiving treatment at Starship children's hospital in Auckland.

"I could see it from my hospital window and I always wanted to go on it and I never got an opportunity because I was too sick. I'm a bit scared of heights but you know, overcome your fears."

She was grateful for the generosity others had shown her.

"It was really nice of them to do something like that. Especially strangers."

The All Blacks jersey and a signed parliamentary rugby team jersey were organised by parliamentary security service supervisor Sam Samuelu, a relative, and Mana MP Kris Faafoi.

Samuelu said the jerseys would be auctioned on Trade Me.

The parliamentary rugby team jersey features signatures from Prime Minister John Key, Labour leader Phil Goff and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/cancer- ... ks-4431118


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:03 am 
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Robin Gibb to undergo further chemotherapy

Robin Gibb's illness continues despite a startling recovery from pneumonia, prior to which he spent more than a week in a coma. Doctors are now worried that the singer's cancer has spread to his liver, his friend Jim Dooley told the Daily Telegraph, and it is believed to be "50/50" whether the Bee Gee will come through.

More than two weeks after waking from his coma, Gibb is still in intensive care at a London hospital. Although his doctor said then that Gibb was "fully conscious, lucid and able to speak", the singer has reportedly undergone a tracheotomy and must currently communicate "by blinking his eyes", Dooley said. "The plan is to get his strength up so he can resume chemotherapy treatment for his cancer," he continued. "Dwina [Gibb's wife] has said that because he spent so long in a coma there are a lot of things he will have to learn to do again if he comes through it." It is not clear whether Gibb will recover his voice.

Gibb's colon cancer was discovered about 18 months ago, during an unrelated bowel surgery. The singer's twin brother, Maurice, died from complications from a twisted intestine in 2003.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/ma ... emotherapy


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:45 am 
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Sticking with you: carers in the spotlight

FOR most of the 46 years of his married life, Jim Tilley has studied his wife Maggie like a yachtsman reads the wind - for signs of change or storm.

''I'm constantly on watch with my eyes and ears open,'' he said.

It was not long after they married, when she was 19 and he 27, that Mrs Tilley developed the mental illness that has plagued her ever since.

True to his marriage vows, Mr Tilley, 73, has cared for her through sickness and health, the good times and the bad.

''She was a beautiful girl, a lovely lady,'' he says.

The personal cost of caring for a loved one with mental illness is highlighted in a new study of 1000 carers by Wesley Mission to be released today.

It shows almost 90 per cent of the carers report a harmful effect on their own physical and mental health, and three in four report adverse effects on relationships with family and friends. Almost 60 per cent said their employment and financial situation has deteriorated.

Like Mr Tilley, 43 per cent of the caregivers in the study had been in their role for more than a decade. The chief executive of Wesley Mission, the Rev Dr Keith Garner, said the study revealed that caregivers were the unsung heroes of the community, and their caring often came at a cost.

''They more often than not sacrifice their time, money and even their careers to ensure that those they support can manage and fulfil their often challenging lives,'' Dr Garner said.

Of particular concern was that almost one-third of the caregivers had experienced family violence, with those caring for people with complex problems such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder more at risk, and female carers particularly vulnerable.

Another concern was that one-third of the carers said they had been afraid to ask for help.

In some ways Mr Tilley has avoided some of the worst repercussions of being a carer. He built a strong career as a financial manager in the steel industry. His other safety valves have been his dog, Jet, and his advocacy work on behalf of British pensioners living in Australia.

But his home life has not turned out to be what he expected when he brought his bride to Australia in 1971. Mrs Tilley had already been hospitalised for depression in England and within four months of her arrival here was back in a psychiatric hospital. It took years for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to be made.

When she was well, Mrs Tilley was gregarious, a great cook and entertainer. But the suicide of one of their two sons and a growing problem with alcohol exacerbated her illness and extended her periods in hospital.

''He's never lost his temper,'' Mrs Tilley, 66, said. ''He has stuck with me through manic attacks, depression, alcoholism - I'm sober now. He believes very strongly in his marriage vows.''

The report, Keeping minds well: caring till it hurts, proposes an eight-point plan to support carers, including more education about carers for GPs and other professionals, more emergency respite, and education for carers about their legal rights.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nationa ... z1umSsTISS


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 7:42 am 
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Research: Melatonin-chemotherapy improves survival from cancer

A review of randomized controlled trials shows Melatonin combined with chemo or radiotherapy improves remission and survival. Melatonin also reduced side effects of the radiochemotherapy. Beneficial effects were noted in different types of cancer.

Researchers Y.M. Wang and colleagues from the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University in Henan Province, China conducted a review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the use of melatonin with chemo or radiotherapy in patients with solid tumors. Seven hundred and sixty one patients from eight RCTs were included in this study, and 20 mg per day of melatonin was used by the patients.

The results of this review, published in the journal Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, showed that melatonin significantly improved remission (partial and complete), and the 1-year survival rate. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy usually causes fatigue and a lowered count of important blood cells such as thrombocytes, required for clotting, but melatonin also reduced these side effects.

Another new review on melatonin and breast cancer was also published in the journal Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, by Emilio J Sanchez-Barcelo and colleagues from the University of Cantabria, Spain, and from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Researches stated that because of melatonin’s effects on the estrogen receptor and on estrogen enzymes, it can be used as an enhancer of drugs used for breast cancer prevention. Melatonin’s antioxidant effects could also be used to reduce chemo and radiotherapy’s generation of oxidative stress, and to mitigate their side effects.

Melatonin can help prevent and treat cancer by several mechanisms, including immune system stimulation, and because of its effects on apoptosis. When we’re exposed to light at night, melatonin secretion is reduced, and this could be a cause of the high rate of cancers among night shift workers.

Avoid melatonin before surgery and if you have autoimmune diseases. Melatonin can cause serious side effects, especially if you already have medical conditions. But it does have beneficial anticancer effects, so speak with your oncologist to verify if it can be used to treat you, and always tell your doctor of any supplement you use.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/3 ... z1uycyUxIB


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:38 am 
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Benefits of statins found to outweigh the $200m bill

A FURTHER three million Australians could be considered for cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins -- costing taxpayers an extra $200 million a year -- after a study found even those at low risk of heart attacks and strokes derived significant benefits from the drugs.

A joint British-Australian review that combined the results from 27 previous studies found that, for every 1 millimole per litre reduction in the levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, 11 fewer heart attacks or strokes per 1000 patients would occur over five years, even among those with a less than 10 per cent chance of a serious heart problem in that time.

The authors of the study said this benefit "greatly exceeds any known hazards of statin therapy", and called for a rethink of current treatment guidelines, saying the findings suggested treating patients with a risk as low as 1 per cent was likely to prove cost-effective.

The study, which combined the data from 175,000 patients and was partly funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the National Heart Foundation, said there was no evidence statin treatment increased cases of cancer, deaths from cancer or non-cancer deaths.

The findings are likely to reopen a controversy over which patients should be considered for treatment with statins, which are among the biggest drains on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and have been linked to various side-effects, including muscle pain, liver damage and digestive problems. Australian guidelines reserve statins for people at high risk, such as those who have already had a heart attack or have a family history of such problems.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/he ... 6359381086


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:50 am 
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Austerity measures hit cancer and heart drugs

GREECE is on the brink of a severe healthcare crisis as shortages of medicines are exacerbated by panic among patients unable to get cancer or cardiac drugs.

Greece's worsening liquidity has led to public insurers being unable to pay bills and prescription drugs running dangerously low, say chemists.

''I give it 15 days. If the European Union doesn't release the loans it has promised by then, there will be scenes of utter chaos here,'' said Dimitris Karageorgiou, secretary-general of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association.

''Already we have cancer sufferers going from hospital to hospital to try and find drugs because no one can afford to stock them. If the shortages get worse, God knows what we will see.''

He said 120 pharmacies had closed in Athens due to delays in payments for prescriptions from social security funds.

Athens amalgamated 13 social security funds into one body - the National Organisation for Healthcare Provision - after being first propped up with rescue loans in May 2010. But the funds were unified ''so violently'' within a year, with donations either not forthcoming or drying up completely, that the new body collapsed.

Pharmacists are owed about €1 billion ($A1.3 billion) by health insurers, say sector officials. Chemists had been forced to no longer dispense drugs on credit.

Mr Karageorgiou said: ''How can a pensioner surviving on little more than €400 a month afford cancer medications that cost €380?''

Global drug companies have begun drawing up plans to keep medicines flowing into Greece if it leaves the eurozone. Greek officials fear the nation will be unable to afford medicine imports after huge devaluation of any new currency.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/austerity-m ... z1vooKG8Jv


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:09 am 
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Placebos: the future of medicine?

NEW research shows placebos can help to treat everything from pain to depression and low libido.

Mums count on it when they kiss their children’s injuries better and many involved in natural medicine admit to having faith in the concept. And with more and more research scientifically verifying its presence, practitioners of conventional medicine are being called to embrace the power of the placebo effect.

It has long been thought that the often-vilified placebo effect is all in the head – and it seems that is completely true, says Damien Finniss, from the University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital, who is involved in researching this controversial area.

"Research shows that placebo effects may occur in conjunction with any form of treatment where the mind-brain interaction works to promote the body’s natural healing mechanisms," Finniss says.

Finniss likes the fact that placebos take the emphasis off the medicating part of the healing process and cover the whole therapeutic experience to include factors such as building the patient’s trust in the medical professional, the setting of the treatment and the belief in the body’s ability to get better.

"Essentially, placebo effects change the way our brains and bodies work, complementing the effects of medical or other therapeutic treatments, often leading to reduction in symptoms," he says.

"The placebo component of every therapy should not be overlooked. It has the potential to make routine medical treatments more effective."

-- More than a sugar pill

The placebo effect has been long maligned for its so-called use of deception and links with more airy-fairy and non-scientific concepts such as faith healing. And it seems there is an element of both, along with other environmental, intellectual and cultural mechanisms that kick in to enhance the effect.

Why can a mother’s kiss stop a child’s finger from hurting? Is it because the pain was imagined or the child has complete faith in Mum’s power to solve problems, so the brain and body combine to stop the pain?

This same interaction may be responsible for the sudden relieving of symptoms when you sit in a doctor’s surgery – you have taken the first step to getting better by seeking help from a person you trust in a setting that you link with healing.

"You don’t need a sugar pill to create a placebo effect. Our research reveals that placebo effects can occur in routine medical practice across a wide range of medical conditions – and these effects can be therapeutically powerful,” Finniss says. "Clearly there is a great deal more to the placebo effect than we previously thought.

-- Startling statistics

Irving Kirsch, a UK psychology professor and author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding The Antidepressant Myth (Random House), uncovered some astonishing information while researching drug trials for antidepressants.

After analysing 38 published clinical trials involving more than 3000 depressed patients, he found that a whopping 75 per cent of the antidepressant effect was also produced by placebos – sugar pills with no active ingredients.

"Placebos instil hope in patients by promising them relief from their distress," Kirsch wrote in his book. “Genuine medical treatments also instil hope, and this is the placebo component of their effectiveness.

"When the promise of relief instills hope, it counters a fundamental attribute of depression: hopelessness."

In Finniss’s research into pain relief, opioids were given in the first instance and a placebo was used next. Many of the patients continued to feel similar pain-relief effects after they had taken the placebo.

"Scans showed the brain changes on the placebo were identical to those on the real drugs," Finniss says.

Last year, researchers at the University of Texas found that one in three women recruited for a study into low libido reported a “significant increase” in sexual satisfaction after taking a placebo.

"The findings from our study show how a woman’s expectations to improve sexually can have a substantial positive effect on her sexual wellbeing without any actual drug treatment," the study’s lead researcher, psychology professor Cindy Meston, says.

There have also been other studies in recent years linking the placebo effect with helping sufferers of chronic sinus problems, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and even Parkinson’s disease.

-- The placebo business

In 2008, two NSW couples decided to harness the power of the placebo and created Universal Placebos, an online company selling bottles of sugar pills for $20.

Co-founder of Universal Placebos, homeopath Brian Bruce, says the beauty of placebos is they are non-toxic, non-invasive and have no side effects.

"They can be a first resort, they can be a last resort and they can work with and support other medical treatments," he says.

Bruce says while selling the bottles of placebo pills is a bit of fun, he is convinced of the power of the placebo effect.

"We know from reading the research, and what we’ve seen ourselves, that placebos work in at least 30 per cent of cases and as many as 70 per cent," he says.

"The placebo effect can even occur when the person knows they’re taking a placebo. It’s pretty powerful stuff."

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/placeb ... 6379650808


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:47 am 
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Are you drinking too much water? Millions chugging 'excessive' two litres a day are wasting their time

Millions of people drinking the recommended two litres of water a day could be wasting their time, researchers have found.

Our daily fluid intake is topped up by water found in food and supposedly 'dehydrating' caffeine-based drinks, according to experts from Victoria, Australia.

Companies with a vested interest in encouraging shoppers to buy their products have perpetuated the idea, the scientists claim, with plastic bottled water becoming a 'fashion accessory'.

Dr Spero Tsindos, from La Trobe University, says we are now 'drinking copious amounts of water' without any valid reason.

He said that official guidelines calling for people to drink eight glasses of water a day were unhelpful - especially as this can partly can be met through tea, coffee and food.

'We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person’s fluid needs and despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration,' said Dr Tsindos.

'We need to maintain fluid balance and should drink water, but also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices.

'Thirty years ago you didn’t see a plastic water bottle anywhere, now they appear as fashion accessories.

'As tokens of instant gratification and symbolism, the very bottle itself is seen as cool.'

He also criticised claims that drinking water can assist weight loss, pointing out that eating food with a high water content is likely to be more helpful than simply drinking water in its place.

'Drinking large amounts of water does not alone cause weight loss. A low-calorie diet is also required', said Dr Tsindos.

'Research has also revealed that water in food eaten has a greater benefit in weight reduction than avoiding foods altogether.'

He points to a study from 1976, where anthropologists noted that Saharan nomads drank half as much water as Europeans living in the same area - one of the driest regions in the world.

'Given that even in a harsh environment the consumption of water can be minimal, why do we insist on drinking such large volumes of water every day?' asked Dr Tsindos.

He said that the recent tendency to promote the ‘health benefits’ of drinking large amounts of water can be traced back to 19th-century ‘hydropathists’.

He added: 'In today’s western society there is an accepted popular view that the moment one feels thirsty one is dehydrated. Consequently, the only way to avoid this high risk situation is to consume copious amounts of water.'

This can have little greater effect than diluting the urine, he said.

'Humans need to maintain fluid balance and need to drink water when required but should also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices.

'There is further evidence that water and a well balanced diet does far more than water alone and this type of research should not be ignored.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z1wwxSfyk0


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:58 am 
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Broken heart, broken bones: Falls among elderly tied to depression

SYDNEY--A new study has found that people suffering from depression are more likely to fall, pointing to a complex relationship between mental illness, a sense of balance, and falling in older people.

Falls are a major public health issue across the world as falling is a frequent cause of accidental death in older people.

A new study has found that along with visual impairments and poor balance, an equally important factor associated with a person’s chance of falling is whether they suffer from depression.

Prof Stephen Lord at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and colleagues studied a population of people 65 years of age and older in Taiwan.

“We’ve known that depression and falls are connected in older people for some time, but we were never able to determine whether depression itself or anti-depressants increase the rate of falling”, says Lord.

“But anti-depressants are not commonly taken by the people we studied and so for the first time we were able to measure lifestyle factors, rates of depression, and how often people fell without the effect of any depression-related medications”, Lord says.

This study means that in addition to enhancing vision, strength and balance, health programs around the world designed to prevent falling in older people also need to consider mental health.

“Now we know that depression and falls are interrelated, fall prevention strategies targeting older people need to also assess and treat depression to have the maximum impact”, Lord concluded.

This paper is published in the journal Age and Ageing.

Please contact Ben Bravery at the NeuRA Media Office on +61 406 599 569 to arrange an interview with the lead author.

How was this research done?

1. Nearly 300 people living in southern Taiwan and not taking anti-depressant medication aged 65–91 were measured using the Geriatric Depression Scale and underwent balance and mobility testing.

2. People were telephoned every month for 2 years to determine if and when they had fallen.

3. Depression was more common in people that fell compared to people that did not fall: 40% of recurrent fallers, 28% of people that fell once and only 16% of people that did not fall were depressed.

http://www.healthcanal.com/blood-heart- ... ssion.html


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:00 am 
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Pharmacies face bankruptcy threat

Many pharmacies in WA are struggling to stay afloat, with at least one going bankrupt in the past 12 months and dozens more bracing for financial hardship by reducing staff hours and opening times.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia says more than 120 pharmacies went bankrupt across the country last year - more than the number in the previous decade - and claims a major bank has hundreds more businesses on watch.

Locally, at least one pharmacy has gone to the wall, while others have been sold at the death-knock to avoid their owners going bankrupt.

Pharmacy Guild WA president Lenette Mullen said she was aware of at least another three WA pharmacies in serious financial trouble because of the rising cost of their leases.

She said overall staff hours had fallen about 3 per cent in the past year as owners faced higher wage bills and were electing to do more hours themselves.

While pharmacies had faced a tough time like many businesses in the past decade, a series of factors had tipped the scales in the past 18 months.

"Many are hanging in there making less than wages and sometimes selling their business is the better option than seeing it go under," she said. "Some are now on the brink of going out of business and could easily tip over the edge.

"You can keep working at less than wages for a little while but not forever."

The guild has organised an industry forum in Perth in August which for some has now turned into more of a crisis meeting to help them stay in the black. Of the 380 pharmacies in the metropolitan area, 200 are sending their owners or managers to the forum.

Ms Mullen said there was also a hidden toll, with five or six pharmacies on the market each month as owners sought to change hands rather than go under. Others were taking on younger pharmacists as business partners to share the financial load and long hours.

Sunny Narula, State manager and national director of the Chemist Warehouse chain, said some pharmacists were not competitive enough and charged unrealistic mark-ups.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/lifest ... cy-threat/


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:34 am 
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Even mild exercise cuts breast cancer risk

Women can reduce their risk of breast cancer through regular exercise of any intensity, but piling on weight after menopause could negate the benefits, according to research published this week.

Although any level of frequent exercise was beneficial, women who exercised 10 to 19 hours a week gained the most advantage, reducing their risk of developing breast cancer by 30%, the authors from the University of North Carolina found in their study of 1,500 control-matched women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Reporting in Cancer, the authors wrote that timing was important, with the link to reduced risk significant only for regular exercise during a woman’s reproductive years (after the birth of her first child) and after menopause.
However, weight gain could offset...

http://www.oncologyupdate.com.au/latest ... ancer-risk


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:16 am 
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Chemotherapy needs test considered for coverage by N.B.

The New Brunswick government is considering paying for a new test that could determine whether some breast cancer patients need to go through chemotherapy.

A Fredericton woman is lobbying for the provincial government to pay for Oncotype DX, which is covered by medicare in two other provinces.

Wanda Duplessis was diagnosed with breast cancer five months ago and she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Wanda Duplessis said the provincial government should pay for the Oncotype DX tests. (CBC)

She is waiting now for the results from her Oncotype DX test, which may reveal whether she needs to go through chemotherapy.

“You do this test and if you fall on the low side of the scale then you don’t need to have chemo if you fall on the intermediate or high then you need chemo,” she said.

Duplessis heard about the new test, which is not widely known in Canada, through an American doctor.

The test looks at the activity in 21 genes of the tumour and predicts the likelihood of the cancer reoccurring.

Duplessis paid $4,100 to have the test done.

While she paid for the test herself, Duplessis said the provincial government could save money by paying for these tests because it would be cheaper than covering the costs of chemotherapy.

“When you look at that, that is reason enough to bring it forward for women,” she said.

Ontario and Quebec already cover the costs of these tests.

Dr. Eshwar Kumar, the co-chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Cancer Network, said the provincial government is examining whether it will cover the cost of this test.

Dr. Eshwar Kumar, the co-CEO of the New Brunswick Cancer Network, said the province is considering covering the cost of the Oncotype DX test. (CBC)

But he said more study is needed on these tests.

“There is a debate,” Kumar said.

“We don’t want to jump on the bandwagon straightaway because that will blow our budget completely."

He said people need to realize that not everyone would qualify for the test, even if the provincial government approved its use in New Brunswick.

The tests are only done on women with early stage breast cancer, with no cancer in lymph nodes and is estrogen receptive positive.

“Less than 50 per cent of women currently diagnosed with breast cancer might be eligible, might fall into category who might need the test,” Kumar said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-bruns ... t-950.html


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:29 am 
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Royal Children's Hospital beds are going to waste as 3000 sick kids wait

UP to 3000 sick children are being denied treatment at Victoria's prized new Royal Children's Hospital because beds remain unopened.

As many as 45 beds in the $1 billion hospital were not in use last week, according to leaked internal patient data obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun.

The documents reveal that although the Royal Children's has 274 beds spread among 10 of its wards, last week it had only opened 229 of them for patient use.

The documents show its third-floor intensive care unit Rosella had 11 of its 30 beds closed on Wednesday.

Six of 30 beds in the Butterfly neo-natal intensive care unit - which saves the lives of Victoria's sickest, most fragile babies - were closed the same day.

MoreAn open letter from a nurse at the RCH to the Premier

A ward for young cancer patients had eight closed beds, according to the RCH Patient Flow data that provides a comprehensive snapshot of how many children are being treated at a moment in time.

And four of 30 possible beds were closed in the Cockatoo neuro-surgery unit.

The hospital's ghost beds come despite its waiting lists having blown out from 1700 sick children in 2010-11, to 3074 at its new Parkville location by March this year.

With acute patients staying an average of almost five days at the Royal Children's, the 45 closed beds would be able to treat about 3000 extra patients a year - about the same as the hospital's current waiting list.

The number of children treated would be less if the patients were staying in rehabilitation wards, where they spend an average of 23 days.

Nurses at the hospital said there were ample staff willing to get the beds up and running but not enough money to pay them.

Despite the leaked statistics being time-stamped "11 July 2012", the hospital's acting chief executive, John Stanway, said they were "not current" and did not reflect "the daily fluctuations in bed allocation and usage".

"Our allocation of beds reflects daily demand and seasonal issues and as always during winter we are currently experiencing high demand on our services," he said.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister David Davis, Kathryn McFarlane, also said bed numbers changed throughout the year.

"The RCH is able to increase capacity according to demand - and this includes opening beds or scaling back as the need requires, including through the recent school holidays period and on the availability of key staff," she said.

Despite beds existing in the hospital wards, Australian Nursing Federation secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said many could not be opened for patients until the hospital received more funding.

"They have a lot more beds than they are able to use because they are not funded for those beds to be open," Ms Fitzpatrick said.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the situation showed the health system was moving backwards under the Baillieu Government.

"It makes me angry, and I am sure it angers parents across the state, that Labor can build this $1 billion hospital but Ted Baillieu can't provide the funding so that the dedicated doctors and nurses can provide our most vulnerable Victorians with the care they need," he said.

The hospital received an $11.6 million increase in funding from the State Government in its last budget.

There were 8295 children admitted to the hospital between January and March this year, compared to 7977 from October to December last year.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... 6426167200


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:29 am 
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How young couch potatoes are giving themselves bad backs with hours in front of the box

Young adults are paying the price for spending hours slumped in front of the television as one in three suffer from back pain, research has suggested.

Research company Mintel found that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds suffering from pain was similar to that of pensioners.

The study found that 34 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds suffer from back ache compared with 38 per cent of over-65s.

Two fifths of Britons across all age groups suffer from back pain, the research found.

Michelle Strutton, from Mintel, said: 'The high incidence of back pain in Britain’s youngsters is pretty alarming.

'Too much time sitting, weakens muscle tone and this can lead to back pain.

'Many of Britain’s youngsters lead a sedentary lifestyle and lack of sport may well be contributing to back pain as well as poor posture.

'Britain’s youth are spending hours at a time slumped in front of TV and computer screens, which is doing nothing to strengthen their backs.

'Back pain is becoming one of society’s main issues and accounts for a high proportion of reasons for taking sick leave.'

Mintel said the research identified the nations top five ailments which are colds and flu, headaches, sore throats, coughs and back pain.

The study also found that women are more likely to complain of headaches than men, with 62 per cent of women saying they suffer from headaches compared with 49 per cent of men.

The Mintel research was published three months after another study linked back pain to happiness at work.

A team of scientists led by Professor Markus Melloh, an orthopaedic surgeon based in Perth, Australia, claimed that many sufferers may simply be unhappy at work.

They said sufferers may be able to ‘think themselves better’, as those with a positive attitude to work are less likely to have lower back problems.

They relied on research which showed that only 33 per cent of people with niggling non-specific backache developed persistent pain that severely affected their career and social lives.

Although some workers required extended sick leave, only a few had suffered a physical change such as a slipped disc.

Anatomical tests of the other patients involved in the study showed no physical reasons for ongoing daily problems with pain.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z21fFLHd00


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:06 am 
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Location: Australia
Cancer diagnosis highlights court delays

Martin Guy's long wait for justice has just become more urgent.

The 72-year-old retiree is one of six former public servants awaiting judgment in their fight for Commonwealth superannuation funds to which they say they're entitled.

Those six cases were heard in the ACT Supreme Court in 2009 and 2010, with Justice Richard Refshauge reserving judgment.

More than two years later they're still waiting, but Mr Guy might not be able to wait much longer.

He has been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, and a recent blood test suggested the treatment regime was no longer effective.

Mr Guy has now been referred on to a medical oncologist to consider further treatment options. But an affidavit in court says his prognosis is ''likely to be measured in months, rather than many years''.

A treating oncologist, in a letter to Mr Guy's lawyers, wrote she would support ''any action that would speed up the legal proceedings which he has lodged''.

Mr Guy told The Canberra Times he thought the eventual decision would answer a lot of questions for other former public servants in a similar situation.

''I know there's a lot of people just sitting on the fence out there,'' he said.

''I think it could open up a lot of cases for a lot of people, and I think there's a lot of people just sitting on the fence just waiting for us.''

Mr Guy's legal team, from Snedden Hall and Gallop, last week had the matter relisted before Justice Refshauge, who promised to prioritise the case.

The judge said he would try to deliver a judgment in September.

''All I can do is look in the whites of your eyes, and you look in the whites of my eyes, and say that's what I intend to do,'' Justice Refshauge told Mr Guy's barrister.

The case highlights the problems still plaguing the Supreme Court, where judges and lawyers have been struggling to deal with an overwhelming case backlog.

The territory's legal fraternity is in the midst of a blitz on the court's list - significant over-listing and additional resourcing in the hopes of cutting through the backlog.

Meanwhile parties are still waiting years for judges to hand down reserved decisions after hearings conducted months - or years - earlier. Mr Guy sued the Commonwealth of Australia for negligently excluding him from their superannuation scheme for more than a decade.

The Queanbeyan man worked for the Department of Administrative Services for about 16 years but was initially told he couldn't join the scheme as a temporary worker.

But more than a decade later, in 1996, he was told he was in fact eligible.

As Mr Guy waits for the looming decision, he's begun a new type of treatment after his previous therapy failed. The litigant is due for a blood test in September, when he hopes to find out how the latest round is progressing. ''I don't know if I'm going to die yet, I hope not, but it's possible,'' he added.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... z21r5z7LCy


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