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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:36 am 
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Palliative care interventions may boost overall survival of cancer patients

Recent studies have shown that palliative care interventions aimed at addressing patients' emotional, spiritual and social needs have a significant impact on cancer patients' quality of life and may even improve cancer patients' overall survival. Despite this, most cancer patients being cared for in their communities do not have access to these services.

Most cancer patients also do not have advance directives addressed and are not aware of the benefits of hospice services. In order to address this issue, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida decided to test whether a nurse practitioner-driven consultation that used quality-of-life assessment tools and advance directives tools resulted in improvement in the cancer patients' quality of life.

The researchers, who published their findings online in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, say their study suggests that a consultative visit between a nurse practitioner and a metastatic cancer patient goes a long way to improving that patient's emotional and mental well-being.

The study results were strongly positive despite the fact that only 26 patients were enrolled. A total of 100 had been planned but accrual to the study was halted when other recently completed randomized studies had shown the benefit of similar nurse driven palliative interventions. Patients also frequently refused to enroll if they were randomized to the "control" arm, which did not include a discussion with an oncology advanced registered nurse practitioner about advance directives and how their symptoms could best be managed. The 12 patients who did receive intervention from a nurse had a significant improvement in their emotional health, compared to the 14 patients in the control arm.

"The findings should be extremely helpful to oncologists in both community and academic medical practices concerned about how to incorporate palliative care, including discussions about advance directives in the outpatient management of their cancer patients," says the study's senior investigator, Colon-Otero, M.D., an oncologist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Florida. ... ients.aspx

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:29 am 
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Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Cancer Risk

Two new studies have found that people with sleep apnea, a common disorder that causes snoring, fatigue and dangerous pauses in breathing at night, have a higher risk of cancer. The new research marks the first time that sleep apnea has been linked to cancer in humans.

About 28 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, though many cases go undiagnosed. For sleep doctors, the condition is a top concern because it deprives the body of oxygen at night and often coincides with cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

“This is really big news,” said Dr. Joseph Golish, a professor of sleep medicine with the MetroHealth System in Cleveland who was not involved in the research. “It’s the first time this has been shown, and it looks like a very solid association,” he said.

Dr. Golish, the former chief of sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, said that the cancer link may not prove to be as strong as the well-documented relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, “but until disproven, it would be one more reason to get your apnea treated or to get it diagnosed if you think you might have it.”

In one of the new studies, researchers in Spain followed thousands of patients at sleep clinics and found that those with the most severe forms of sleep apnea had a 65 percent greater risk of developing cancer of any kind. The second study, of about 1,500 government workers in Wisconsin, showed that those with the most breathing abnormalities at night had five times the rate of dying from cancer as people without the sleep disorder. Both research teams only looked at cancer diagnoses and outcomes in general, without focusing on any specific type of cancer.

In both studies, being presented in San Francisco this week at an international conference organized by the American Thoracic Society, the researchers ruled out the possibility that the usual risk factors for cancer, like age, smoking, alcohol use, physical activity and weight, could have played a role. The association between cancer and disordered breathing at night remained even after they adjusted these and other variables.

Dr. Mitesh Borad, a cancer researcher and assistant professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic who was not involved with the studies, called the findings “provocative” but said more research was needed to confirm the association. The studies were observational, and other, unknown factors may account for the correlation between sleep apnea and cancer.

Recent animal studies have suggested that sleep apnea might play a role in cancer. When mice with tumors were placed in low-oxygen environments that simulate the effects of sleep apnea, their cancers progressed more rapidly. Scientist speculate that depriving mice of oxygen may cause their bodies to develop more blood vessels to compensate, an effect that could act as a kind of fertilizer for cancer tissue and cause tumors to grow and spread more quickly.

The researchers wondered whether a similar relationship might exist in people with sleep apnea, in whom throat muscles collapse during sleep, choking off the airway and causing gasping and snoring as the body fights for air. Severe sleep apnea can produce hundreds of such episodes each night, depleting the body of oxygen.

In one study, a team at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health examined data on state workers taking part in the long-running Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, who since 1989 have undergone extensive overnight sleep studies and other measures of health about every four years. The landmark project was one of the first to reveal the widespread occurrence of sleep apnea in the general population.

The researchers found that the more severe a person’s breathing problems at night, the greater the likelihood of dying from cancer. People with moderate apnea were found to die of cancer at a rate double that of people without disordered breathing at night, while those in the severe category died at a rate 4.8 times that of those without the sleep disorder.

“That is really striking,” said Dr. F. Javier Nieto, one of the study’s authors and chairman of the department of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin. “It could be something else, but it’s hard to imagine that something we didn’t control for is causing this.”

In the second study, researchers with the Spanish Sleep Network took a slightly different approach, looking not at cancer mortality among apnea patients, but at the incidence of cancer. They used a measure called the hypoxemia index, which looks at the amount of time the level of oxygen in a person’s blood drops below 90 percent at night.

About 5,200 people were followed for seven years, none of whom had a cancer diagnosis when the study began. The researchers found that the greater the extent of hypoxemia, or oxygen depletion, during sleep, the more likely a person would receive a cancer diagnosis during the study period.

People whose oxygen levels dropped below 90 percent for up to 12 percent of the total time they were asleep, for example, had a 68 percent greater likelihood of developing cancer than people whose oxygen levels did not plummet at night, said study author Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia of La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Spain. As time spent without oxygen increased, so, too, did cancer risk.

Although the study did not look for it, Dr. Martinez-Garcia speculated that treatments for sleep apnea like continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, which keeps the airways open at night, might reduce the association.

The Wisconsin study also did not specifically look at the impact of treatment for apnea on survival, either, but when people who were being treated with CPAP were removed from the analysis, the cancer association became stronger, “which is consistent with the hypoxemia theory,” Dr. Nieto said.

“I would say that this is one more instance that shows that sleep apnea can have profound impacts for people’s health,” he added. “Not breathing while you’re sleeping is a serious problem.” ... ncer-risk/

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:52 am 
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Moderate Weight Loss Can Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Could moderate weight loss lower your chance of developing breast cancer? Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center think it's possible.

The connection between obesity and breast cancer risk in women after menopause has long been suspected. Specifically, weight gain from early adulthood into the 60s has been consistently associated with risk of breast cancer after menopause. Cancer researchers believe the reason for this is that fat tissue becomes a major source of estrogen in postmenopausal women, and this estrogen causes certain types of tumors in the breast to grow. Because obese women have more fat tissue, they make more estrogen when compared with women who are thin.

Now, this new study shows for the first time that weight loss directly lowers hormones linked to breast cancer.

Dr. Anne McTiernan, director of the Prevention Center at Fred Hutchinson in Seattle, Wash., and author of the study, said that postmenopausal women who reduce their weight moderately through diet and exercise can lower the amount of these hormones circulating through their bodies, which can in turn decrease their risk of developing breast cancer.

Up to 75 percent of postmenopausal women with breast cancer have the estrogen receptor positive variety, meaning that these cancer cells will grow when estrogen is present. McTiernan estimated that reducing these estrogen levels through weight loss can lower a woman's chance of estrogen sensitive breast cancer by as much as 50 percent.

"Twenty-five to 50 percent breast cancer reduction is estimated based on how much we know estrogen can affect breast cancer risk," she said. "There were nine studies who had been done that showed women with the highest estrogen / testosterone levels had at least a two times increased risk of breast cancer. We estimated that we could see that reduction based on these studies."

Importantly, the study found that even modest weight loss can lower breast cancer risk.

"One main point is that women don't have to be like the 'Biggest Loser,'" McTiernan said. "A lot of people are thinking for general health benefits that they have to lose 50 pounds if they are 200 pounds. That's not what we are seeing.

"Having a first goal of 10 percent of weight lost can have major health effects; it's not as difficult as people are thinking it is."

One of the world's leading epidemiologists, Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University said the findings were supported by past research.

"From many studies, we know that lower levels [of sex hormones] reduce risk of breast cancer," Willett said. "We have seen that levels of estrogens are about three times higher in obese compared to lean women.

"Weight loss by postmenopausal women is one of the best ways to reduce risk of breast cancer."

Willett also mentions a study showing that women who lost a moderate amount of weight had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer.

"And best of all are the side effects: lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other forms of cancer," he said.

While other experts agree weight loss is important they note that there is limited evidence to support these findings.

There is "no direct evidence for this at present," said Dr. Clifford A. Hudis of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

But, he said, "There is no argument in favor of obesity. Protection from breast cancer is simply one more good reason to be thin, whether it actually prevents breast (or other) cancers needs to be confirmed." ... d=16398316

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:13 am 
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Memphian Claims Natural Cure to Cancer

Memphis, Tn - For Catharine Wark, Mother's Day is always a friendly reminder of how proud she is to hold the title of mom.

"I had infertility issues so he was very special, he was a gift from God to me."

So, when her only son, Christopher Wark, started having health problems, she worried, as any mother would.

"I just thought wow, this is it, this is all I've got. This is my only son."

Never did Catharine think anything serious was wrong. And honestly, neither did Chris. He was your average young man, until a doctor's visit in the fall of 2003.

Chris was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26. It hit him and everyone around him, like a ton of bricks.

After processing the news, no one wants to hear, the family was ready to wage war against colon cancer. Surgeons would remove one third of his intestine in December of 2003 to save his life.

"After surgery, they sent me home and basically said the next step is 6 to 9 months of chemotherapy," says Chris.

Chris agreed. He was ready to get rid of the cancer quickly spreading to his lymph nodes. While he recovered at home, for nearly 6 weeks, he started his own research.

Then, he had a revelation.

Chris says he, "told the oncologist I wasn't going to do chemotherapy."

His mother remembers the doctor's reaction.

"He was actually quite hostile, and I think he was borderline abusive with his reaction. He was very threatening, and said Chris was insane not to do his treatments."

Chris didn't care about the doctor's warning that he had a 60 percent change of living 5 years. He wasn't playing the numbers game. His mind was made up. In modern medicines, the odds are stacked against you, he decided.

"The whole idea of poisoning your way back to health just didn't sit right with me, it didn't make sense," he says.

The most common form of chemotherapy treatment works by killing the quickly dividing cancer cells. Problem is, the chemo also destroys rapidly dividing normal cells. That was reason enough for Chris to conclude chemo was ineffective and too brutal on his body.

With the help of books and encouragement from his mom, an unlikely source of support to his untraditional approach, Chris changed his life drastically starting with his diet. For 90 days, he decided to juice, eat salads with fresh veggies, and drink fruit smoothies.

Add to the diet, a workout regime that would send his body into overdrive.

His mother, who studied natural medicine and nutrition back in the 70s, says this approach works. And Chris recommends it to anyone.

We tried to ask that same question to doctors at The West Clinic. In fact, we reached out to that same doctor who encouraged Chris to do chemotherapy or else. But, he declined an on camera interview saying he didn't remember Chris being his patient.

Chris says the reality in all of this is that modern medicine is really big business.

"Natural therapies can't be patented. You can't patent fruits and veggies. There is no money to be made using natural therapies. You'll never see natural therapies used in conventional medicine. There just isn't any money in it."

So, he says, sadly, patients are ushered down a destructive path allowing doctors to pump foreign medicine into their bodies.

Nearly 10 years later, Chris is still cancer free. And his mom couldn't be happier with his outcome. ... t-20120514

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:54 am 
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Will Dark Chocolate a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

May 31, 2012 -- Should people at high risk of heart attack and stroke eat dark chocolate every day?

Maybe, according to a new study from Australia.

"Dark chocolate may be a pleasant and effective way of delivering important dietary components that can provide health benefits to the ever increasing numbers of people at increased risk of cardiovascular disease," says researcher Christopher M. Reid, PhD, professor of cardiovascular epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia.

Reid and his team constructed a mathematical model to predict the long-term health effects of eating dark chocolate daily in high-risk people. They did not study actual people eating actual chocolate.

The researchers also computed whether it would be cost-effective to spend money on a public education campaign about dark chocolate's benefits. They found it would be.

Several studies have found that dark chocolate, with its heart-healthy flavonols, can lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol.

However, Reid believes theirs is the first study to model the long-term effects of eating dark chocolate in reducing cardiovascular risk.

The study is published in the journal BMJ.

Chocolate to Prevent Heart Attacks

Reid's team first looked at the treatment effects linked with dark chocolate by evaluating studies already published.

They computed the number of heart attacks and strokes that would occur with and without the dark chocolate.

They also looked at 2,013 people from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle study. All had metabolic syndrome but none had diagnosed heart disease or diabetes at the start.

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is diagnosed when three or more of the following factors are present: high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, or a large waist size.

Reid's team looked at costs associated with the heart and stroke problems.

They used these cost figures to determine how much money could be spent each year to educate high-risk people about dark chocolate and still be cost-effective.

Their study looked longer-term than most, 10 years, Reid says.

Dark Chocolate to Prevent Heart Disease, Stroke

First, the researchers plugged in the best-case scenario: 100% of the people eating the recommended 100 grams of dark chocolate (3.5 ounces, or about two bars) a day for 10 years.

This would prevent 70 nonfatal and 15 fatal heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people over 10 years, according to the study model.

With an 80% adherence rate, there would be 55 fewer nonfatal and 10 fewer fatal heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people over 10 years.

The estimates may be low, Reid says.

They found that it would be cost-effective to spend $42 per person per year on education.

The education might include advertising, educational campaigns, or subsidies to pay for the chocolate, Reid says. ... octor-away

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:45 am 
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Doctors reassured about vegetarian diets

Australian doctors are being assured their patients will benefit if they adopt a diet that's free of meat.

An Australian-first scientific research review, published on Monday in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), has found vegetarians receive more health benefits than risks from their plant-based diet.

The MJA supplement examined deficiencies traditionally thought to affect those who have adopted a vegetarian diet and found they are receiving adequate levels of protein, iron and zinc.

Nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, who has written an accompanying editorial to the research papers, says the scientific evidence shows a well-planned, plant-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of adults and children.

'The evidence is quite good that people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have less heart disease, less colorectal cancer, less type-2 diabetes and they're less likely to be obese,' she said.

While those who don't eat fish may be receiving less Omega-3 fatty acids than considered desirable, the study also found vegetarians don't exhibit signs of a clinical deficiency.

Deficiencies in vitamin B12 were noted in vegans; people who shun any animal-based product including milk and eggs.

B12 is required to help make red blood cells and to keep nerves functioning and the study recommended vegans receive supplements either through eating B12-fortified foods or by taking a daily supplement.

Dr Stanton says the study was also prompted by the increase in the number of people who are looking to reduce their intake of meat for both health and sustainability.

'The question they've been asking, which this supplement aims to answer, is is there a problem if I don't have meat every night?' and the answer is almost certainly no, but it doesn't mean that you just have a bucket of chips,' she said. ... 57170&vId=

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:53 am 
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Study finds vegetarianism a healthy choice

A MEAT-free lifestyle may not be as risky as once thought, with a new study revealing a vegetarian diet presents more benefits than dangers.

The research, published yesterday in the Medical Journal of Australia, found vegetarians did not have low levels of protein, iron or zinc and were less likely to suffer from heart disease and obesity.

The study, conducted by Sanitarium, also found that while vegetarians may receive less Omega-3 fatty acids, they did not show signs of a clinical deficiency.

Bond University Head of Health Sciences Roger Hughes said a balanced, plant-based diet was a healthy option for adults and children and that the research simply proved what nutritionists had been saying for ages.

"In the nutrition community we've been saying this for the last 20 years," he said.

"A diet that is high in vegetables is healthy to eat for most people if they are replacing meat with appropriate substitute foods."

While Mr Hughes recommended vegetarians take iron supplements, particularly women, he said they were not vital.

"I would normally recommend someone on a strict vegetarian diet be looking at an iron supplement, but they are just a precaution.

"There isn't a lot of iron in fruit and vegetables so wholegrain cereals are the predominant source of iron in a vegetarian diet."

Sarah Ruggiero (pictured) has been a vegetarian all her life and said taking supplements was more of a personal choice than a necessity.

"I take iron supplements and other vitamin tablets but I also make sure that I get all of the essentials from the food I am eating," she said.

"People don't realise a lot of the vitamins you get in meat can be substituted with fruits, vegetables and grains," she said.

While Miss Ruggiero has never eaten red meat, she said she had never felt unhealthy or malnourished because of her diet.

"My parents brought me up as a vegetarian eating white meat but I have never had elements of red meat in my diet.

"A few years ago I decided to cut white meat and fish and my body has never felt better." ... -news.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:06 am 
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The real risks of going vegetarian

Tell your friends you're swapping beef for broccoli, pork for pumpkin and lamb for legumes, and it's likely they will try to warn you off.

Giving up meat, they'll argue, means you won't get enough protein (needed for growth and immunity), or iron, or calcium, or zinc. And you'll be stuck with eating tofu for protein.

But with more Australians appearing to eat less meat, new research shows that a well-planned plant-based diet has more health benefits than risks.

"The evidence is quite good that people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have less heart disease, less colorectal cancer, less type-2 diabetes and they're less likely to be obese," nutritionist Rosemary Stanton said.

Dr Stanton said the new research, by Australian and international academics published in the Medical Journal of Australia today, showed getting everything the body needs while maintaining a vegetarian diet is not as complicated as once thought.

"With protein, for example, the text books I wrote back in the 1970s told you that you had to combine certain plant-based foods together to get adequate amounts of protein," she told ABC Radio National.

"But the advances in biochemistry mean that we now know that you don't have to do that. As long as you've had a variety of plant-based foods over the course of a day or so, your body will take the amino acids from the ones it needs as it needs them.

"So we don't need to fuss about having seeds and nuts together or particular foods together the way we used to."

Tara Diversi, a lecturer in nutrition at the University of Sydney, said Australians were constantly changing the way they eat; at the moment people were either going "primal" and eating a lot of meat, or giving it up.

Those thinking about giving up meat should see their GP or a dietitian before becoming a vegetarian to talk about the foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals, she said.

Protein can be found in legumes, such as beans and lentils, and tofu, while iron and zinc are in wholemeal grains, legumes and nuts.

Vitamin B12, required to make red blood cells, is found in eggs and possibly mushrooms, and deficiencies are mostly a concern in vegans - those who do not consume any animal products.

"You can eat quite a good vegetarian diet and not need supplements, but you need to be careful," she said in an interview last week.

"You need to make sure that you're having complementary proteins; that means eating grains and beans.

"We don't want people to rely on supplements, because in whole food it's a lot easier not to overdose."

Animals Australia, the organisation that captured the footage of Australian cattle being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs shown on Four Corners last year, and the Australian Vegetarian Society both said there was evidence that such animal welfare concerns were pushing more people towards vegetarianism.

Sydneysider Marianna Thomson, 29, stopped eating red meat as a child when her vegetarian father teased her as she ate it at the dinner table by saying: "I thought you liked sheep, I thought you liked animals."

But it was last year's Four Corners expose and footage of animal cruelty at the Hawkesbury abattoir this year that shocked her into giving up meat entirely.

"I thought, well if that's happening in Australia, who knows if it's happening elsewhere?" she said.

The Hawkesbury abattoir was shut down in February and described by the NSW Food Authority as a "rogue operator".

Ms Thomson said she has had her iron levels checked and they were fine.

"It's a bit of a misconception that you can't get all your vitamins and minerals from a veg diet alone."

Comment is awaited from Meat and Livestock Australia.

Members of the vegetarian family:

- Ovo-lacto vegetarians: those who do not eat any meat, but do eat dairy and egg products.

- Ovo-vegetarians: those who eat meat and eggs, but not dairy.

- Pescatarians or aquatarians: those who cut out most meats, except for fish.

- Flexitarian: those who mostly keep to a vegetarian diet, but will eat meat occasionally.

- Vegans: those who do not consume, and sometimes do not use or wear, any kind of animal products. ... vegetarian

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:43 am 
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Men must not ignore their health

‘‘SHE’LL be right, mate’’ is a troubling expression for men’s health campaigners, because too many Australian men take this easygoing view of their own care and well-being.

The ‘‘no worries’’ approach is under challenge in the Hunter during Men’s Health Week (June 11 to 17) because for many Australian men, the situation may not be quite as right as they hope.

‘‘Every hour more than five men die prematurely in Australia from potentially preventable illnesses,’’ men’s health co-ordinator, Hunter New England local health district, Ken McKenzie said.

‘‘We need to connect with blokes, to let them know there are ways to make things better.

‘‘All the usual things apply – healthy diets, exercise, learning how to deal with stress – but this week, any week for that matter, we want more men to visit the doctor for a checkup.

‘‘And if they won’t look after themselves, we need the wives, the partners, the families and friends, even the children, to encourage men to give themselves a bit of care and attention.’’

One third of men have not seen a doctor in the past year and 10per cent have not seen one for five years.

Recent studies show that many men don’t have regular health checks because they either fear it will lead to a hospital visit, are embarrassed to talk about their health issues, find it too hard to fit a doctor’s visit into their schedule or simply can’t be bothered to make an appointment.

‘‘And there’s so much more that men can do to help themselves, to head off troubles down the track.’’

‘‘Mateship’’ has also been enlisted in the Men’s Health Campaign.

‘‘As well as diet and exercise, men need to find a mate or a professional they can trust to reach out to when they are feeling stressed or down,’’ Mr McKenzie said. ‘‘Depression is a very common disease and there are many free services such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline. You don’t have to suffer alone.

‘‘Men are encouraged to recognise and reach out if they notice signs and symptoms in their friends.

‘‘That’s when they need to start a conversation with their mate.’’

There are seven key messages for Men’s Health Week, 2012:

*Get physically active, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.

*Learn to manage stress and depression.

*Get screened for sexual health.

*If you smoke, begin the journey to quit.

*If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.

*Learn about cancer checks.

* If a father, actively engage with children.

‘‘Simple health prevention steps include checking for signs of skin cancer, keeping tabs on blood pressure, blood sugars and cholesterol. All of these things, could help improve the lives of Australian men,’’ Mr McKenzie said.

‘‘When it comes to health checks, ‘she’ll be right’ is a dangerous part of our culture. The only way for men to know if ‘she’ll be right’ is for them to see a doctor about what checks need to be done.’’ ... 85748.aspx

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:52 am 
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Too many soft drinks ruining our children's sleep

ONE in five Australian prep students is getting a daily caffeine hit from consuming soft drinks after school, a shock new study has found.

Parents have been called "lazy and neglectful" for giving children as young as five regular doses of caffeine-laden cola drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.

A Murdoch Children's Research Institute study of 1512 prep students from 22 primary schools has found that 40 per cent of children have sleep problems.

This has been linked to children watching more than two hours of TV a day.

Children are also having trouble getting to sleep and are waking up at night because of the amount of caffeine they are consuming, academic Jon Quach and his research team found.

One in three children has a mild sleep problem and one in 10 a severe sleep problem, leading to poor child and parent mental health, Dr Quach's study found.

Accredited practising dietitian Lisa Renn said it was "astounding" to hear parents were giving their five-year-olds a daily jolt of caffeine.

"It is lazy and neglectful parenting - there are plenty of quick and nutritious snacks. Parents need to be firm and just say no," she said.

Ms Renn said two cans of cola delivered as much as 95mg of caffeine.

Warren Cann, chief executive of the Parenting Research Centre, said some parents "would not think to make a link between what kids were drinking and watching, and their behaviour and sleep patterns".

"If you have it in the house, make sure you link it to a special occasion such as the one night a week you get takeaway, so kids learn it is for some times and not others," Mr Cann said.

The study is published in an coming edition of the Journal of Child and Pediatric Health.

Croydon Hills mum Lucie Battaini lets her son Dylan, 10, drink Coke occasionally at parties. But her daughter, Willow, six, is only allowed lemonade because of her age.

"The children get enough sweetness from food, so I don't want them to have too many sweet drinks," she said.

How to Say No to Pester Power

* It is important for kids to hear the word no and to accept it

* If children regularly are in the habit of fighting against being told "no", then changing their behaviour may take time

* When you want to refuse a request, first empathise with your child, such as "I know you love coke"

* Explain that coke is a sometimes food, and can only be consumed on particular occasions

* Offer alternatives such as water or milk

* Ensure you are quiet but firm and keep emotion out of it

* Don't go back on your word because you are teaching them that bad behaviour will change your mind ... 6397183324

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:31 am 
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The caveman diet: fad or cure?

FANS of this new movement claim dumping foods that come from farming boosts health and aids weight loss, but nutrition experts aren’t convinced.

There is a growing movement that believes if we really want to be fit, healthy and disease-free, we need to return to the hunter-gatherer life our ancestors lived some 40,000 years ago and dump all foods which come from farming.

Known as the paleo, caveman, stone- age or primal diet, its burgeoning band of supporters swear it is more a lifestyle than an eating practice, because the focus is on overall health rather than weight loss.

The paleo philosophy is based on the belief that modern-day conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease all started when ancient man embraced farming practices and cultivated food.

It claims that, genetically speaking, the human body is best built to deal with food which is sourced from hunting, fishing and gathering, as opposed to those items grown from agriculture – such as wholegrains, sugar, dairy and legumes.

A typical paleo meal plan might include eggs and steak for breakfast, soup or salad (preferably including meat or fish) for lunch and roast meat and vegetables for dinner. Paleo recipes include stews, stir-fries and egg dishes such as frittatas and omelettes.

"This program of eating was not designed by diet doctors, faddists or nutritionists, but by Mother Nature’s wisdom acting through evolution and natural selection," says Dr Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet (Wiley). He says the diet is based on "extensive scientific research".

Paleo supporters cite anthropological evidence that in most surviving hunter-gatherer populations, the chronic "diseases of civilisation" such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity are relatively rare.

--- A diet without dairy or grains?

Critics of the paleo lifestyle ask how a diet that discards at least two major food groups from the healthy pyramid can be sustainable or good for you. In fact,

Melanie McGrice, of the Dietitians Association of Australia, describes the paleo trend as a "short-term quick fix" and "just another fad".

"The Dietitians Association of Australia cannot support a diet that cuts out core food groups like dairy and wholegrains," she says. "It is nutritionally incomplete and does not reflect the vast knowledge we have today about our nutritional intake based on scientific reviews and research."
McGrice says this diet could lead to a calcium deficiency and also includes too many saturated fats from animal proteins. This is mainly due to the fact that the livestock of today contains significantly higher fat than the wild animals that sustained the Paleolithic era.

Understandably, Dairy Australia also has a major problem with a diet that prohibits the products it spruiks.

Glenys Zucco, Dairy Australia’s nutritionist, wonders where people who follow paleo diets will get their recommended daily allowance of calcium.

"To get the same amount of calcium as one serve of dairy you would need to eat 32 brussels sprouts, 21 cups of raw chopped spinach, 11 cups of diced sweet potato, six cups of shredded green cabbage or a cup of dry-roasted almonds," she says."Core food groups exist for a reason: they provide vital nutrients in quantities that other foods can’t."

Zucco also cites recent research which shows that rather than contributing to obesity and cardiovascular disease, dairy products are linked with weight loss and improved heart health.
On the question of no dairy and other exclusions, paleo gurus say that because the diet prohibits many of the "highest acid-producing foods" (such as hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods and legumes), the amount of calcium leeching out of our bones is greatly reduced. As a result, eating high-calcium green vegetables provides adequate levels of this mineral.

-- Fervent fans and utter sceptics

The paleo diet inspires love and loathing. The US News & World Report magazine’s annual ranking of diets had the paleo in last place out of the 24 reviewed. It said its expert panel of nutritionists and dietitians "took issue with the diet on every measure".

However, in addition to anecdotal evidence, the website supporting The Paleo Diet book lists research that is in favour of hunter-gatherer eating as well as the trend’s recommended exercise practices.

Responding to the US News & World Report ranking, Cordain says, "Five studies, four since 2007, have experimentally tested contemporary versions of ancestral human diets and have found them to be superior to Mediterranean diets, diabetic diets and typical Western diets in regards to weight loss, cardiovascular disease risk factors and risk factors for type 2 diabetes."
Critics respond with the contention that these studies have not been big enough to offer real proof of the paleo diet’s benefits.

Melbourne health and lifestyle coach Travis Jones says he has never met a person who did not feel better after starting a paleo lifestyle and describes it as the “healthiest diet and lifestyle change there is”.

"I have witnessed clients lose up to 50 kilograms, some have come off diabetes medication with the guidance of their doctors and others have seen all kinds of autoimmune diseases settle," he says.

Jones says paleo is far from being a "fad" diet. "Paleo is a lifestyle that you stick to for a healthier, better you. The fat loss is just a by-product of this lifestyle," he says.

-- What you can eat

Paleo purists say we should only eat foods our primal ancestors ate, but it does seem there are several variations of this diet around, with some less rigid than others. Here is a general list

+ Lean meat, game and organs such as liver and tongue are encouraged

+ Eggs (some diets recommend at least six a week)

+ Fruit (but not in vast quantities)

+ Vegetables (although some don’t encourage potatoes)

+ Nuts and seeds (in moderation)

+ Seafood and shellfish (all types)

+ Olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed and canola oil in moderation

Foods to be avoided

+ Dairy (all)

+ Cereal grains (all)

+ Grain-like seeds (quinoa, buckwheat)

+ Legumes (all beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy products, peas)

+ Peanuts

+ Starchy vegetables

+ Salt-containing foods (store-bought condiments, bacon, deli meats)

+ Fatty cuts of meat

+ Sugar

+ Fruit juices

-- Primal exercise

The Paleo movement also recommends exercise based on what our caveman ancestors would have been doing. Mark Sisson, one of the growing number of paleo gurus, talks about the "primal blueprint" – also the name of one of his books – which includes the following physical activities.

1. Hiking. "Whether it was searching for food or shelter, our ancestors spent a lot of time walking," Sisson says on his website Mark’s Daily Apple. He adds that hiking can be swapped for other low-level activities which can be done for long periods, such as cycling.

2. Sprinting. This mimics the "eat or be eaten" credo of our ancestors. "Run fast, run hard and run for your life," Sisson says.

3. Lifting heavy objects. Sisson recommends weight-bearing activities such as squats or dead lifts, which our ancestors did when lifting a heavy rock or log for building. Lunges mimic the action of traversing steep terrain and pull-ups recall the movement of pulling a heavy object towards the body.

4. Moving regularly. Sisson says it is unlikely the caveman was able to be sedentary for long periods, so neither should we.

---------- "I’ve been paleo for two years and feel great"

Katerina Cosgrove, 39, follows a strict paleo lifestyle which embraces both a caveman diet and exercise regimen – and she has never felt healthier.

"I adopted the paleo lifestyle – I don’t consider it a mere diet – in October 2010, when my sister died at 44 of metastasised melanoma. I’d been diagnosed with a melanoma in September 2009 and survived. This was a further incentive to change my entire lifestyle. I was vegan for most of my adult life, so this was a huge turnaround.

"I’ve had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis [an underactive thyroid] since 1998 and since adopting the paleo lifestyle I’ve reduced my medication by two-thirds. My hormone markers (testosterone, progesterone, oestrogen, cortisol) are now on the high end of normal where once they were nonexistent.

"I feel stronger, more energetic and more stable mood-wise than ever before.

"We never feel deprived or as if we’re ‘on a diet’. We eat huge amounts of grass-fed organic meat, organs, fish and seafood, unlimited organic vegetables, bone broths, all coconut products and some nuts and fruit. We cook in coconut oil, duck fat or tallow and use extra-virgin olive oil for salads.

"We also practise intermittent fasting when we feel like it: skipping breakfast and lunch, like the feast-or-famine of Paleolithic times.

"I try to mimic my Paleolithic ancestors by not being regimented in my exercise, but mixing up all the modalities [moving frequently, lifting heavy objects and occasionally sprinting] in a fractal, unlinear way: bursts of intense effort with rest and play in between. Adequate sleep, fun and stress management are big aspects of the paleo lifestyle." ... 6405304931

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:26 am 
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Sloth and gluttony: sinfully simplistic answers to the obesity epidemic

Like politics, football and global warming, obesity is a topic that attracts huge attention in the media as well as talk on the street and in coffee lounges. And it is the most serious health issue facing the global community today.

Australia is in the top 10 fattest nations globally and we, like many countries, are struggling to control the epidemic of obesity and related chronic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes).

The renowned Israeli scientist, Eleazar Shafrir at the Hebrew University, coined the term “diabesity” to characterise the close linkage between obesity and diabetes. Today, diabesity is shaping as the biggest chronic disease epidemic in human history. It leads to the onset of other debilitating and costly illnesses such as heart disease, certain cancers, musculoskeletal disorders and obstructive sleep apnoea, to name a few.

In Australia, the national diabesity epidemic continues unabated. The Federal Government’s response to the recommendations of the recent National Preventative Health Taskforce Report on obesity has been very disappointing and we must ask questions about their commitment to the recommendations, as well as the effectiveness of the limited interventions they have put in place.

Many in our community, including our politicians, have a simplistic view of the causes of obesity. They blame two major factors: laziness and ready access to attractive, energy-dense foods. This fallacy is fueled by the media, who reinforce to us that the obesity crisis is primarily caused by sloth and gluttony.

These views invite a passive response and allow government to retreat to the message of individual responsibility. Yet, in reality, as stated by the UK obesity expert Professor Peter Kopelman, “the causes of obesity are embedded in an extremely complex biological system, set within an equally complex societal framework”. Obesity is a highly complex disease and nearly every drug so far developed for obesity hasn’t proved safe enough. We have to find the silver bullet, and only continued scientific research will get us there.

Based on this view, the strategy to tackle obesity needs to be based around an understanding of its complexity and not on a half-hearted collection of disparate and unconnected measures that are unlikely to address a burgeoning epidemic of this magnitude. Seven years after we conducted the last Australian Diabetes and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) survey in 2005, there are still no reliable national monitoring data on diabesity and a distinct lack of evidence to suggest that we are winning the war.

Despite the important recommendations of the Preventative Health Taskforce, initiatives to address the obesity crisis have been fragmented, with in excess of $35 million of dollar being spent on social marketing initiatives such as the balloon man, Eric, and his “Swap It, Don’t Stop It!” campaign. It is not clear how this campaign is being evaluated and how it will have any impact on the obesity epidemic without other major, well-funded initiatives.

Fundamental to both the treatment of obesity and its prevention is a strong research framework. So where do we start?

Before 1994, obesity research was in a stagnation phase. It received a huge boost after the discovery of Leptin - a key hormone involved in appetite regulation - by Jeff Friedman at the Rockefeller Institute in New York. This landmark discovery set the field alight; it triggered major new collaborative initiatives around the world, and provided a focus for researchers on the role of the brain and its pathways that play a role in appetite regulation. The recent symposium between scientists from Monash University and the world-renowned Weizmann Institute (in Israel) highlights the potential of these collaborations.

For our government and public health bureaucrats there is an impelling need to change the myth that sloth and sedentary behaviors are largely responsible for obesity. Let’s get beyond the blame game, which inevitably seems to end with responsibility for controlling obesity being laid at the feet of parents and the individual.

Politicians and bureaucrats need to recognise the fundamental change in thinking of scientists and public health researchers as to the underlying drivers of the obesity epidemic. There is a significant biological component driving the very behaviours we tend to focus upon and blame people for.

A 2008 Access Economics report put the cost of obesity in Australia at $58 billion per year. The potential cost of strengthening research into the cause of obesity and its prevention, and implementing the broad range of interventions recommended by the Preventative Health Taskforce, would seem to be an absolute bargain against such a figure. But is anyone in Canberra listening? ... demic.html

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:08 am 
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Drinking breast milk daily helps woman fight cancer

MELBOURNE: An Australian woman, being treated for bone marrow cancer, has claimed that drinking a glass of breast milk everyday helped her reduce cancer levels in her body.

Jenny Jones, 62, said she has been taking a daily 400 ml dose of milk from an anonymous donor after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma , or bone marrow cancer, seven months ago.

She said her cancer levels had reduced significantly after taking a month of daily doses of breast milk, according to a local media report.

Her decision has been supported by doctors at John Flynn private hospital and the mater Hospital in Brisbane where she is being treated. Breast milk has been proven to help build immunity in newborn babies and is a unique nutritional source that cannot adequately be replaced by any other food.

The mother-of-three admitted to also following standard cancer treatments including oral chemotherapy.

Though breast milk treatment was not prescribed by her doctor, her decision has been supported by doctors at John Flynn Private Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Brisbane where she is treated. Gold Coast oncologist Steven Stylian said it was difficult to know which treatments were working on Jones but said he would not dismiss the milk treatment.

"People stumble across cures all the time this way," Stylian said, adding "All treatments need to be evaluated and I'm open minded about it" .

Jones has been a lactation consultant at John Flynn for 14 years and said she knew about the milk's benefits. "I'd never tasted it and never wanted to but once I had this big thing happen in my life, I just threw it down because I believe in it," Jones added. In 2010 researchers in Sweden had published a study that showed breast milk could kill cancer cells. ... 483958.cms

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Hackett claims put sedative use on hold

Goodnight, Stilnox.

The Australian Olympic Committee yesterday banned its athletes from using the powerful sleeping pill and other strong sedatives during the London Games.

The move comes after Olympic champion Grant Hackett admitting he relied heavily on the drug at the tail end of his swimming career, with his former coach claiming it cost him a third 1500m gold medal at Beijing four years ago.

However, the wider Australian sporting community is divided over the use of the three main prescription drugs in question - Stilnox, Rohypnol and Mogadon.

The drugs are not on sport's worldwide banned list and are not performance enhancing, and many sports doctors and athletes claim that, if used properly, Stilnox does not create problems.

AOC president John Coates, who said he was shocked by Hackett's admission and his claims of widespread use of sedatives, implemented the ban on the three drugs on the advice of team medical director Peter Baquie.

"We think it's clear enough with all of the evidence now about the dangers of the drug (Stilnox) in terms of addiction and hallucinations and dependence that justify the stand we've taken," Mr Coates said.

The AOC would now focus on highlighting the guidelines surrounding caffeine which, when used excessively, can lead to sleeplessness and the use of sedatives.

But sleeping tablets were not widely prescribed and the use of Stilnox was rarer still, according to Hugh Seward, executive officer of the AFL Medical Officers Association and the Geelong club doctor.

"It's occasional, for a few, perhaps a handful of players per club on specific occasions," Dr Seward said. "Like prescribing any drug you have to weigh up the side effects and explain the risk to the patient and should they have adverse effects then you don't prescribe it again. It's pretty straightforward."

Another doctor, Ric Charlesworth, the Australian men's hockey coach and dual gold medallist with the Hockeyroos, said his "players who travelled long distances and needed to get their sleep patterns adjusted for a couple of days" might use a milder, narcoleptic drug such as Temazepam for the flight to London.

"The night before a big match sometimes people have difficulty sleeping and you would use a short-term drug but that would only be on the odd occasion," he said.

The only woman to win three Olympic hockey gold medals (two as captain), Rechelle Hawkes, said the Hockeyroos "were a boring lot" and rarely used sleeping pills.

The team sometimes used mild sleeping pills when travelling and she used them twice in competition, in Atlanta in 1996 and Barcelona in 1992.

"I had exhausted all possibilities in Barcelona," Hawkes said.

"I couldn't get to sleep one night and couldn't go two days without sleep or I would have been exhausted. You just have to slow down the thought processes."

Dual relay gold medallist Todd Pearson said he took Stilnox for much the same reasons. "It was always under doctor's supervision and I never had any problems," he said.

Swimmers were hyped up after a night-time competition and with the warm-down, massages, dinner and media commitments often didn't get to bed until after midnight, he said.

Then the alarm would ring at 5.30am for the next day's heats.

"You have to be ready to go," Pearson said. "You did everything possible to win - you were swimming for your country and you took a lot of pride in that."

WAIS medical officer Carmel Goodman, a team doctor with the national hockey and rowing teams, believes it is "a massive overreaction and counterproductive" to totally ban any sort of sleeping tablet for the duration of the Games.

She has prescribed sleeping tablets, such as Stilnox without mishap or side effects because of strict controls and a strong awareness of the possibility of abuse, side effects or addiction.

"All these tablets are used and have been used by WAIS athletes and Olympic athletes but because of the potential for abuse and addiction I have always, long before this came out, been very cautious in just prescribing a certain number and I have never prescribed more than eight," Dr Goodman said.

"In an Olympic situation with the anxiety there are a number athletes who are not going to be able to sleep and if that goes on for three or four nights during an Olympic Games, that is obviously counterproductive."

The Fremantle Dockers confirmed "minimal" prescribed use of Stilnox in the past.

"One to two players were prescribed it under authorised medical use some years ago," a club spokesman said.

"No players are currently prescribed Stilnox. Given the minimal usage in the past we are not aware of any problems."

One former Docker confirmed taking the drug a few times after night games on interstate trips so he could sleep on the way back to Perth and be ready for training the next day. ... e-on-hold/

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Making Strides In Rare Childhood Cancer

SAN DIEGO, July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Little Benjamin Hess was only 3 years old when his mother noticed his eyelids were drooping, and he had developed dark circles under his eyes. When she took him to his pediatrician in Sydney, Australia, the doctor ordered several tests, and Benji was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer. After weeks of research Benji's mom opted to travel to Mexico for treatment. According to TMD Limited, a medical tourism research company, they are one of thousands of families who travel to Mexico for medical treatment each year.

Neuroblastomas account for only 7.8% of childhood cancers in the USA. This cancer is diagnosed by blood tests, 24 hour urine tests, bone marrow and surgical biopsies, X-rays, CT and bone scans.

While this disease may be present at birth, it can strike children anytime under the age of 5. Tumors begin in the neural crest cells in the adrenal glands or in the sympathetic nervous tissue in the abdomen, chest, neck or pelvis. Adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and produce hormones that regulate the heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. Benji's tumors were in his neck.

Symptoms can include dark circles under the eyes and drooping eyelids, as in Benji's case, or by persistent cough, difficulty breathing, lung infections, limb weakness, swollen stomach, and painless bluish lumps under the skin, depending on the location of the tumor.

Conventional treatment includes surgery, radiation, high dose chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and monoclonal antibody therapy. Because chemotherapy destroys the bone marrow, stem cells are harvested before treatment. After high dose chemotherapy is completed, the stem cells are replaced.

While the prognosis depends on the child's age, stage of the cancer when diagnosed and location of the tumor, children treated with conventional therapy have a less than 20% five year survival rate.

Benji's mom hoped for a better chance of survival for her son. "I watched my father go through conventional treatment for liver cancer," she said. "I watched him waste away, suffering terribly. He died in such pain. There was no way I was going to put my son through that." She spent hours researching alternative clinics around the world.

Through Facebook, she contacted a charitable organization in the UK called Families Against Neuroblastoma, or FAN. This group provides support, information and assistance in all aspects of dealing with neuroblastoma, and they seek to fund specific research into cutting edge neuroblastoma treatments.

After several phone calls, she eventually chose a small private clinic in Baja, Mexico. Hope4Cancer Institute offered a wide array of aggressive natural treatments, and they were all painless, non-invasive and had no side effects.

According to the clinic Medical Director Antonio Jimenez, M.D., Benji received gentle local hyperthermia which destroys cancer cells with heat, natural vaccines, immune modulation, detoxification and nutrition. SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy used sound and light frequencies to destroy cancer cells without damaging normal cells. When sound and light come in contact with the a natural sensitizer that is given under the tongue, the result is a chemical reaction called photosynthesis, which explodes free radical oxygen right into the cancer cells to kill them. Benji continued this therapy at home for 12 months.

"Our treatments are very easy on children," said Dr. Jimenez. "We've treated hundreds of children every year, from all corners of the world. Our unique combination of treatments can produce complete recovery from devastating childhood diseases."

Benji and his mother spent 3 weeks at Hope4Cancer, and his mother continued some of the therapies at home. Benji responded quickly and as his tumors shrank, he became more energetic and responsive. Soon he was racing around the clinic entertaining the other patients and their families.

"We are so fortunate to have found Dr. Jimenez and Hope4Cancer," said Marianne Hess, Benji's mother. "Conventional therapies are so hard on children, to the point of being cruel. On the Hope4Cancer protocol, Benji felt fine, and he never suffered or was in pain from the treatments. I wish all parents would seek more gentle treatments – they offer a much higher survival rate, and they are easy on the kids." ... ood-cancer

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