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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:32 am 
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Food poisoning at VIC function centre leaves 100 sick

Over 100 people are reported to have contracted food poisoning after consuming food at a function centre in Melbourne.

A significant number of attendees suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea after eating food served at events held last Wednesday and Friday at the Sandown Park Greyhound Racing Club’s function centre in the city’s south-east, The Age reports.

Bram Alexander, spokesperson for the Department of Human Services told The Age that the department was currently investigating the incidents, and that samples will be tested to determine whether the cause was viral or bacterial (food related).

"There was an initial clean-up after the first set of illnesses were reported to us," Alexander said.

"The onset of illness was 24 to 36 hours, so it wasn't immediate, it was some time after."

The function centre has voluntarily closed while the investigation continues to be carried out.

http://www.hospitalitymagazine.com.au/f ... aves-100-s


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:11 am 
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Sydney scientists hope for pot boom

Many ill people hope that NSW's moves toward a medical marijuana trial will eventually bring them relief.

But some of Sydney's leading medical researchers hope it signals an opening of attitudes – and funding – that brings Australia into an age of medical discovery and industry via the cannabis plant.

"In coming decades our understanding is there will be widespread applications for a range of chronic conditions, everything from diabetes to asthma to obesity to PTSD," said Dr David Allsop, a research fellow in psychopharmacology and addiction medicine at Sydney University.

Premier Mike Baird is expected to announce details this week for funding of three clinical trials. The trials, he says, will be an opportunity "to bring together the best minds in medical cannabis research".

"I see no reason why NSW cannot also lead the world in this field," he told Fairfax.

That may have perplexed its advocates who point to medical marijuana's use in Israeli hospitals and legal status in 23 American states, Spain and Canada.

But scientists say NSW is well positioned to lead the way, because of the exciting pre-clinical research already being undertaken here in spite of restrictions and the potential to involve the state's fledgling but growing industrial hemp crops, legalised six years ago.

But their hope also reflects the fact that in scientific terms, marijuana is novel and unexplored despite its being used casually for millennia.

THC, marijuana's psychoactive component, was discovered only in the mid-1960s.

The body's system of biological receptors for marijuana was found only in the 1990s.

The latest discoveries predate the writing of most medical curriculums, said Associate Professor Nick Lintzeris, also of Sydney University. "We're in the [early stage] of an impending tsunami of medical uses for cannabis once we get over the fear".

But THC is arguably not its most interesting potential medical component.

There are about 100 other "cannabinoid" compounds in marijuana. Many produce the opposite effect to that which makes recreational users stare at their hands and order pizza.

THC-V decreases the appetite. It has, scientists say, potential as an obesity treatment; a kind of "anti-munchies".

About 50 clinical trials worldwide are under way relating to the use of another compound, cannabidiol, or CBD, believed to counteract many of THC's mind-altering effects.

Part of what makes researchers so interested in marijuana is that only about 10 of its roughly 100 compounds are well enough known for trials to be feasible. The scientific potential of the other 90 remains unexplored.

Pre-clinical research is under way in Sydney.

Researchers here recently completed an animal study looking at the compound's effect on Alzheimer's.

They bred mice to have similar symptoms to sufferers of the degenerative disease and then injected them with CBD.

The mice showed major improvements in memory; it brought their mental performance back to the levels of healthy mice.

Oxford-educated Sydney University pyschopharmacology professor Iain McGregor is one of Australia's leading experts on drugs and the brain.

His research has looked at the effects of marijuana compounds on pain, epileptic seizures and appetite.

He thinks treatment for Australia's growing problem of methamphetamine addiction should be one of the drug's first applications: something for which there is little treatment other than agonising detox.

"You've got something [cannabidiol] that reduces cravings for stimulants and that treats psychotic symptoms.

"It's a barbecue stopper. Why can't we do that study now?"

The answer, of course, relates to the burden of researching a drug that is not legal.

Professor McGregor was recently involved in a study that analysed the kinds of marijuana in wide use in NSW.

They found, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was geared heavily towards THC.

But interestingly, it had very little cannabidiol, the compound credited with so much of its medicinal benefits.

The medical experts advising the NSW government have suggested it allow children with epilepsy, chemotherapy patients and the terminally ill to openly trial treatment for their conditions.

Medical marijuana often comes as a tincture, which can be ingested, or even applied to the skin. It can also be grown to have almost no psychoactive properties; it won't get you high.

But researchers hope the Premier's changes will spur the freeing and funding of research into marijuana's therapeutic value.

"Is this a marginal area that's only going to affect some minor conditions or are we on the verge of a modern rediscovery?" Associate Professor Lintzeris said. "All the data suggests it's the latter: We're talking about a mega-billion-dollar industry."

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-scient ... 1vtpa.html


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:54 am 
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Flu vaccine death toll rises in Italy

Rome: The number of people who have died in Italy after being administered a flu vaccine made by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has risen to 13.

The Italian Medical Agency (AIFA) has warned against panic and stressed there is not proof yet that it was the vaccine that led to the deaths.

However it said it had banned two batches of the product – called FLUAD – as a precautionary measure, pending further studies.

AIFA said the European Medical Agency would start examining the problem today, and would report back on Thursday.

Italian authorities issued a partial ban on FLUAD on Thursday after three people died and a fourth had been taken seriously ill within 48 hours of being administered the vaccine.

More cases came to light in the following days.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/f ... 1x9n4.html


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:40 pm 
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Does the type of fat we eat matter in the absorption of vitamins?

We know that dietary fat can help us absorb vitamins, but is this the case for all vitamins and does the kind of fat matter?

Firstly, it depends on the vitamin. There are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and water-soluble ones (C and the Bs).

Recent research has also found that eating fresh vegetables with a little fat, such as oil-based salad dressings or cheese, helps the body absorb valuable nutrients found in vegetables, such as lycopene and and beta-carotene, which have been found to have antioxidant effects and may also protect against cancer.

Now, a study published in September has confirmed the importance of fat for helping the body to absorb vitamin D.

The study, by Tufts University researchers, took 50 healthy adults and assigned them a daily dose of vitamin D3 either a fat-free breakfast consisting of egg whites, fruit, toast and cranberry juice or a breakfast including either a monounsaturated (olive oil) and polyunsaturated (corn oil) fatty acids (MUFA:PUFA), to see if one type of fat has a different effect.

The participants were also provided with lunch and dinner containing a similar ratio of fat/carbohydrate and protein as their breakfast while the researchers took blood samples throughout the day.

The groups who had fat with their breakfast had a 32 per cent higher absorption rate of the vitamin D than the fat-free participants.

"The presence of fat in a meal with which a vitamin D-3 supplement is taken significantly enhances absorption of the supplement, but the MUFA:PUFA of the fat in that meal does not influence its absorption," the authors concluded.

Calcium is not fat-soluble, so it is not aided by the bile stimulated in the small intestine, when we eat fat, which helps to break down the fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Previous studies have shown that calcium is absorbed better with a meal of some description though.

As for how much fat to have with your meal to optimise absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, there is no magic number.

And generally speaking, calcium and vitamin D aside, scientists suggest trying not to get your nutrients for supplements in the first place.

"If you have a varied, nutritious diet, none of this should be a concern, unless you have a medical condition that affects nutrient absorption," advises Berkeley University.

"As for supplements, we generally don't recommend them (with the exception of calcium and vitamin D for many people). Supplements are usually overkill anyway, supplying 100 per cent or more of the RDA of nutrients, so it hardly matters if absorption is reduced."

http://www.watoday.com.au/lifestyle/die ... 1z50z.html


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:01 am 
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How the Promise of Immunotherapy Is Transforming Oncology

Tom Telford ’s stomach ached. The New York City teacher had been drinking cup after cup of coffee as he labored to finish year-end grading and coach his high-school baseball team through the playoffs. He worried he might have an ulcer.

When school let out, though, Mr. Telford looked forward to relaxing on a 25th anniversary cruise with his wife. But once in the Caribbean, he struggled to swim and climbing from one deck to another exhausted him. Back at home, he collapsed while running a TV cable in his bedroom.

His family doctor told him he had lost two pints of blood. Further tests revealed a tumor the size of a quarter on his small intestine. He had surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, followed by months of chemotherapy. But the disease spread to his liver and kidneys. The diagnosis: Stage 4 melanoma, a skin cancer typically fatal within a year.

“Death is not an option,” he told his doctor.

Nine years later, against all odds, Mr. Telford is still alive. What saved him was an experimental immunotherapy drug—a medication that unleashes the body’s own immune system to attack cancer.

When his tumors began melting away more than eight years ago, Mr. Telford’s good fortune was largely an anomaly amid a mostly dreary landscape for advanced cancer. But his remarkable survival caught the attention of researchers, who began to realize that the way immunotherapy drugs were affecting tumors was unlike almost anything seen with conventional treatments.

Today Mr. Telford is among a growing group of super-survivors who are transforming the world of oncology. In both total numbers and duration of survival, they are charting new territory. And they are reviving hopes that the long-maligned idea of enlisting the power of the immune system against cancer may help to turn the tide against some of the most lethal and resistant forms of the disease.

“It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen,” says David Lane, scientific director of New York’s Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. “It’s the long-term survival of people who have advanced disease. This is very unusual.”

Cancer immunotherapy comes in several forms. The drugs sparking the most interest are called checkpoint inhibitors. They work by releasing the natural brakes on the immune system, enabling its foot soldiers, called T cells, to attack tumors.

It is hard to know how many patients whose cancers have metastasized, or spread, have enjoyed sustained survival following immunotherapy treatment. An analysis of 4,846 advanced melanoma patients treated with one checkpoint inhibitor— Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. ’s Yervoy—found that 21% were still alive three years later. That amounts to more than 1,000 people, most of whom experts say almost certainly would have died otherwise. Especially striking is how good the long-term prospects were for people who survived at least three years.

“The people that make it after three years don’t die of melanoma,” says James Allison, head of immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, whose seminal discovery about the immune system and cancer in the mid-1990s laid the groundwork for many of the current advances.

Newer drugs that work similarly to Yervoy, but on different immune-system brakes, are getting even better early results and are extending the benefits beyond melanoma to other cancers.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/cancers- ... 1417714379


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:09 am 
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More Fun Than a Run: Bikram yoga is tough but addictive

Bikram yoga is something that has a huge tendency to divide a room. People either love it or hate it – there is absolutely no middle ground. It's a 90 minute class made up of 26 postures – not too difficult in itself – but the class is conducted in a room heated to 38.5 degrees.

I've done bikram yoga a few times now, and I must admit each time I go in, there is a fleeting moment at the beginning where I wonder why I went back.

If you don't like sweat, this isn't going to be your cup of tea. You're going to sweat in places you didn't know had sweat glands. Or if you think yoga is relaxing, think again. The poses are adjustable depending on your fitness level, but they're all going to get your heart rate up.

The important thing to remember is on your first session, your goal is to just stay in the room for the entire session. There can be moments where you feel a bit dizzy at first, and it's perfectly acceptable to just sit down for a while. Yoga isn't about pushing yourself.

As with any yoga, the session ends with a relaxation portion, where you get to lie on your mat, and marinate in your own sweat. Particularly if you're a fan of saunas, this bit will feel like heaven.

The class is tough, there's no doubt about it, but it's addictive. The feeling afterwards, once you've rehydrated, had a shower and cooled down, is incredible. Every part of your body is buzzing and you feel like you've sweated out all the bad stuff. And this is precisely the moment where you decide it's a great idea to go back for more.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/act-new ... 1w0me.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:38 am 
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UnitingCare opens Australia’s first digital hospital in Queensland

AUSTRALIA’S first fully integrated digital hospital officially opened yesterday in Queensland with expectations that it will transform healthcare across the nation.

Run by UnitingCare Health, the $96 million St Stephen’s Hospital at Hervey Bay is the first local hospital to computerise everything from diet to dialysis and integrate its operations, equipment and services. It includes more than 300km of fibre-optic cable.

Director of medical services Monica Trujillo said machines fed data into patients’ records directly when they underwent a test. Food was ordered and managed electronically, and medication dispensed in a paperless environment.

Patients were electronically logged when they changed areas. “As a doctor, I can log in from anywhere at anytime to see what that patient is doing in real time,” Dr Trujillo said. “You don’t have to chase the (patient) chart any more. That’s a huge benefit.”

Details patients gave on admission about allergies and medical conditions automatically flowed through to areas such as the pharmacy and kitchen. As a result, patients received food menus with just the items they could eat.

Dr Trujillo said the hospital had Wi-Fi throughout, with patient access and free internet. Patients could bring their own device to hospital.

Records also could flow through to their personally controlled e-health record — should they join the PCEHR system.

CEO of UnitingCare Queensland Anne Cross said St Stephen’s exemplified the not-for-profit’s strategy to improve social services by leading change.

“It is gratifying to know that patients … will be comforted by the fact that their physician will have access to health alerts, medications, vital signs, test results and patient history, for example, in real time on mobile devices.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/technol ... 7148964484


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:11 am 
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Experts call for food packaging crackdown

Australian researchers have found packaged food manufacturers are routinely fudging fruit and vegetable claims on labels.

They're calling on the government to crack down on the practice by bringing the claims within the scope of the food standards code.

The Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney say of the roughly 50 per cent featuring a fruit or vegetable claim, one-third failed a basic nutrition test based on sugar, salt and fat levels.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national ... kdown.html


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:21 am 
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The diets to avoid in 2015

There’s no such thing as a healthy quick fix when it comes to dieting and now the British Diatetic Association have pinpointed the fad diets to steer clear of in 2015.

Making the list this year is everything from the urine therapy diet to the Paleo diet and Julie Gilbert, a Spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, agrees with the findings.

“They’ve identified these diets that people are actually following that are not going to give any long term weight loss results that people are after. In some cases some of these are very risky to do,” she said.

“I think the urine diet and the clay diet are particularly dangerous, you should not even attempt those or even variations of them, they are just ridiculous.

“The fact is, they are not based on any scientific research or evidence.”

Here are the top five diets to steer clear of:

Urine therapy

This diet, also known as urotherapy, involves drinking your own urine for medical wellbeing purposes. While some say the urea has cancer fighting benefits, the BDA says there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to support this. They also say there are no weight loss benefits at all.

The Paleo diet

This diet, which has become popular recently, allows you to eat only foods presumed to be available to Neanderthals in the prehistoric era, cutting out food groups like dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol or coffee. While a diet with less salt and processed foods is a good idea, this diet cuts out too many food groups. You should not cut out any food groups, unless it is for medical reasons. Cutting out certain food groups can cause nutrition deficiencies.

The sugar free diet

This involves cutting out all types of sugar, and often carbohydrates, from your diet. Cutting out sugar from your diet is almost impossible and means you need to cut out foods like vegetables, fruit, dairy products and nuts. This isn’t exactly a well-balanced diet.

VB6 Diet

Also known as the vegan before 6pm diet or the "Chegan" diet gets to you follow a vegan eating plan before 6pm. After that, nothing is off limits. While a vegan diet encourages the consumption of more fruit and veg which is good, it doesn’t necessarily translate to a healthy diet. The risk is being given the opportunity to eat unhealthy foods after 6pm. Realistically, eating foods at particular times of day doesn’t affect your diet.

The Clay Cleanse diet

This diet involves eating a spoonful of clay each day to remove toxins from the body, helping you to detox and stay in shape.

Consuming clay can be very dangerous for your health. The Food Standards agency issued a warning about consuming clay after high levels of lead and arsenic were discovered in products.

How to lose weight the healthy way

If you are planning on shedding some weight in the New Year Julie suggests trying a healthy eating program that is supported by science.

“I think you need to make sure the diet or weight loss program or diet product you are planning to use is backed with some scientific research,” Julie says.

“Please go and consult a dietician, they really will be able to show you how to get the best results probably faster than all of these fad diets and will also be able to show you how to keep that weight off which is the most important part.”

The foods that really help you lose weight

If you choose to lose weight on your own, Julie suggests thinking clearly about what the diet is asking you to do.

“If it is a diet that tells you to exclude a specific food group, steer clear of it. The reason I say that is because there is no supporting evidence that says excluding a food would give you better health results, actually the reverse would happen,” she says.

“People are still following all of these fads and obesity are still climbing at an alarming rate. We need to let go of that obsession we have of that quick fix.”

Julie suggests monitoring your progress by weighing yourself and recording what you eat. And while there are a lot of diets that are bad for you, there are a few that are healthy and can work.

“There are a few good diets for people who want to do it on their own. The Mediterranean diet is great, the low Gi diet is also really good and the dash diet is good for people with high blood pressure. These are three really good scientifically based diets which are great. “

http://www.womansday.com.au/health-diet ... d-in-2015/


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:41 am 
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Five reasons you're not losing weight

You're eating healthier food and you're moving more - so why is it still so hard to shift the weight?

You're not sleeping enough

Making time for exercise is important –but sacrificing sleep in order to squeeze it in isn't the best solution. Lack of sleep is an acknowledged factor in weight gain possibly because it can disrupt the hormones that help regulate appetite, increasing the urge to eat.

Those 100 calorie snacks don't fill you up

Not sure who came up with the 100-calorie snack concept but a quick Google results in pages of ideas – like a cup of frozen grapes, two figs stuffed with ricotta or eight cocoa dusted almonds. All perfectly nutritious but can they fill the stretch between lunch and dinner – or will you still be so hungry you keep picking at food and clocking up extra kilojoules?

"If you have an appetite that can be satisfied with just 100 calories (400 kilojoules) it may be that you're not really hungry – you just want to snack," says associate professor Amanda Salis of the University of Sydney's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders.

"If you're genuinely hungry you may be better off with a proper meal or a substantial snack like a small toasted sandwich or hummus with veggies that keep you satisfied and prevent grazing."

Your body is fighting back

One reason why weight loss can be difficult is because the human body is designed to protect its fat stores in case there's a famine around the corner. If you've succeeded in losing weight but can't shift the last few kilos despite doing all the right things, you're up against what Dr Salis calls "the famine reaction" - where your body fights hard to keep the weight on.

"I'd suggest taking a break from trying to lose weight for two to four weeks. Just try to maintain weight rather than try to lose it - and then start again," she says.

You may be eating more than you think

"After a few weeks of trying to lose weight people sometimes get complacent and snack when they're not hungry. This is where a food diary can help to get a true picture of what you're eating," says Salis. "But rather than just recording what you eat and when, make a note of how hungry you are when eat – and if you're not hungry it's a clear sign you're eating more than you need."

You have PCOS – but don't know it

Around one in five women of reproductive age have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which can cause infertility and make weight loss difficult - but an estimated 70 per cent of cases go undiagnosed. Exactly why PCOS makes it easier to gain weight but harder to lose it isn't clear - but suspects include increases in testosterone and insulin levels that can encourage weight gain. Symptoms like acne, weight gain, excess hair or hair loss and irregular periods can all be signs of PCOS.

Although the emphasis is often mainly on diet to help manage PCOS, regular exercise matters too - not just to help control weight but for reducing insulin resistance which increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, says associate professor Nigel Stepto from the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University who's involved in a number of studies to learn more about why PCOS can lead to weight gain and how exercise can help.

"Any physical activity including exercise sessions such as walking, cycling or exercise classes or just being active around the house is good but activities focusing on building strength are also important for managing insulin resistance," he says.

But sometimes barriers like poor body image, lack of confidence, anxiety or depression which sometimes go with PCOS make it hard for some women to be more physically active. This is where a GP referral to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and dietitian can help, says Stepto – they can design and support a program geared to managing PCOS through exercise and diet.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well- ... ing-weight


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:55 am 
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Fruit fights depression, study finds

A study of 6,000 Australian women found those who ate fruit were less likely to have depression.

Eating at least two pieces of fruit a day can lower your risk of depression, a study suggests.

"We found that women who ate at least two servings of fruit a day were less likely to suffer from depression than women who ate fewer servings," University of Queensland professor Gita Mishra said.

However, she said researchers had not found a link between vegetable intake and depression.

"More research is needed on the different effects of fruit and vegetables, but this may be because fruit has higher levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, such as resveratrol, which is not found in vegetables," Prof Mishra said.

The researchers surveyed 6000 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.

http://www.ncah.com.au/art/mental-healt ... finds/376/


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:35 pm 
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Cancer sufferers more likely to survive in Australia than NZ - study

New Zealand is lagging behind in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer compared to Australia and internationally, a study shows.

Five-year cancer survival from the time of diagnosis was found to be lower in New Zealand than Australia, the University of Auckland study found.

Published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the research shows the survival of cancer patients diagnosed between 2006 and 2010 was 4.2% lower for women in New Zealand and 3.8% lower for men.

Led by Professor Mark Elwood, the study investigated 18 cancers and found 14 showed lower survival in New Zealand, the exceptions being melanoma, myeloma, mesothelioma and cervical cancer.

"For most cancers, the differences in survival were greatest at one year after diagnosis, becoming smaller later on," says Professor Elwood. "Only for breast cancer, did the survival difference increase with time after diagnosis."

He says the lower survival, and higher mortality rates shown in research published earlier this year, suggest that further improvements in recognition, diagnosis, issues of early management in primary care and time intervals to diagnosis and treatment may be particularly important.

In New Zealand, the difference for all cancer combined equates with about 341 deaths each year for men and 364 deaths each year for women.

"These estimates are approximate and may be conservative," says Professor Elwood.

"In the international comparisons, Australia shows very good overall cancer survival outcomes similar to those from Canada and Sweden, and better than those in the United Kingdom and Denmark."

The study did find that "cancer survival has improved substantially in both Australia and New Zealand over recent years".

The lower survival in New Zealand than in Australia is seen for most cancers, including for the leading causes of cancer death - lung and colorectal cancers and Mr Elwood says this suggests a health system issue rather than a biological or treatment issue specific to certain types of cancer.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/cancer- ... dy-6208997


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:33 am 
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Supplements saga: ASADA to continue arguing case in 2015

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's submissions to the AFL tribunal will stretch into the new year, with ASADA yet to finish arguing its case in relation to 34 current and former Essendon players.

ASADA lawyer Malcolm Holmes, QC, appeared before the tribunal on Friday and detailed his client's evidence.

The hearing, held behind closed doors at the County Court, followed the handing down by ASADA last month of infraction notices to the 34 players, who are charged with having taken banned peptide thymosin beta-4.

The AFL confirmed on Friday that ASADA was not done yet.

"Mr Holmes, QC, continued his submissions on behalf of ASADA based on, among other things, various text messages, emails and transcripts produced as part of the investigation," the AFL said in a release.

The notices stemmed from the 16-month investigation into the Bombers' supplements program during the 2012 season.

The tribunal, consisting of David Jones, QC,John Nixon and Wayne Henwood, will now break until January 12, with an end date to the hearing unknown.

Essendon had failed in its bid to be represented at the hearing, with the tribunal rejecting Bombers' lawyer Michael Abrahams' submission on Thursday.

Thirty-two of the players are being represented by David Grace, QC, while two - Western Bulldogs forward Stewart Crameri and Brent Prismall - are being represented by Rob Stary.

Footscray announced on Friday that Prismall would return in 2015 as the Dogs look to defend their VFL premiership.

ASADA last week lost its Supreme Court challenge to obtain subpoenas compelling key witnesses Nima Alavi and Shane Charter to appear before the tribunal, which is being held in camera following a decision from the tribunal members that the risk of defamation emanating from the hearing outweighed the public interest in having media present.

Lawyer Justin Quill, representing media organisations, and AFL counsel Jeffery Gleeson, QC, had sought an open tribunal hearing, while the AFL Players' Association wanted to protect its players' anonymity.

ASADA is arguing that biochemist Charter sourced the raw materials for the substances taken by the players, which were, in turn, compounded by pharmacist Alavi, who in turn provided them to sports scientist Stephen Dank for use at the club.

Meanwhile, a Federal Court spokesperson has played down a News Limited report which stated that a verdict on James Hird's appeal against the September decision of Justice John Middleton was likely to be handed down before Christmas.

"Consistent with usual practice, judgments will be handed down when they are ready," the spokesperson said.

The Court will be closed between December 24 and January 2.

The court last month heard submissions from Hird's lawyers that the joint AFL-ASADA investigation was invalid as it did not fall within the anti-doping body's statutory domain.

Judges Susan Kenny, Anthony Besanko and Richard White presided over the appeal, which was heard less than two months after the trial judgment was handed down - a result of Hird receiving an expedited judgment.

http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/s ... 2b0dg.html


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:53 am 
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Clever minds find more to worry over, research finds

EXCESSIVE worry and anxiety may be seen by some as symptoms of an addled mind, but a study suggests those who fret the most are also the cleverest.

Researchers at Lakehead University in Ontario studied 126 students, asking about anxiety, depression and social skills while also testing intelligence.

The participants, 97 of them women, were ranked on the Cognitive Test Anxiety Scale as well as on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, a measure of verbal intel­ligence such as reading, writing and reasoning skills.

An altern­ative measure of clev­erness is “non-verbal” intelligence: how people pick up new skills in a more intuitive, visual or “hands-on” way.

Those highest on the anxiety scale scored highly on the Wechsler intelligence scale. Those who worried less scored highly on non-­verbal intelligence tests.

The findings will be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences , and Alexander Penney, research leader, said: “It is possible more verbally intelligent individuals are able to consider past and future events in greater detail, leading to more intense rumination.”

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/wo ... bc8a3e4a6f


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:28 pm 
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Wellness tourism: Self-betterment trip gets a cosmetic makeover

The self-betterment trip used to be simple.

It often involved a trip to the exotic east, some meditation and yoga, maybe a massage or facial or three.

Now, it still often involves a trip to the exotic east, but the relaxed face upon your return is just as likely due to Botox, microdermabrasion or fillers as it is to meditation.

We know that cosmetic tourism is thriving.

Last year, more than 23 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed worldwide and around 15,000 Australians travelled overseas for their treatments.

Likewise, wellness tourism is growing at a rate of around 10 per cent a year and now accounts for about 14 per cent, or nearly $439 billion, of all domestic and international tourism.

Interestingly, a growing number of Australians are now combining their overseas cleanse with a little cosmetic enhancement.

I was surprised to learn this, when I went to Bali recently to try out treatments at the non-surgical cosmetic spa, Cocoon Medical.

I went for beauty spa treatments than cosmetic, with mesotherapy, LED red light therapy and a gold collagen mask followed by a vitamin infusion in a salt room.

Staying at nearby Nuala retreat, where juice 'detoxes' are the order of the day, the host revealed that many retreat-goers would nip off to Cocoon for bit of a facial filler, wrinkle-reduction or other cosmetic pick-me-up.

I'd have thought those chasing spiritual and superficial betterment were on opposite sides of the tourism spectrum.

But, the fusion of the two seems to be the modern version of a holistic upgrade.

And perhaps it shouldn't be such a surprise given the number of yoga teachers in Sydney who have breast implants, Botox and lips they weren't born with.

And cosmetic clinics are embracing these new recruits.

Cocoon, for instance, offers treatments typically found at a 'detox' retreat - colonics, infrared saunas and vitamin C infusions, as well as their more standard offerings of peels, dermal fillers, Botox and threading.

The fact that people are experimenting with combinations of such treatments is also unsurprising. Overseas, while the risks are potentially greater depending on where you go, the prices are substantially cheaper.

Botox is around $9 a unit compared with around $20 per unit in Sydney. A vitamin infusion, which delivers 30 times the highest oral dosage of the vitamin, on the other hand might cost around $250 a pop in Australia, while a colonic, sauna and massage package is around $200. In Bali however, you're looking at $230 for the lot.

So unusual as it may seem, self-betterment, these days it would appear, has had an injection and the metaphysical is firmly planted in the material world.

And the glow is inside and out.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/lifesty ... 2cxr2.html


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