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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:21 am 
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I am currently reading Dan Ariely's book "The Upside Of Irrationality". Like wearing rose coloured glasses, everything I read can be tinted by behavioural economics; which is what the book is about.

The first article I have posted below is a dead cert. I am wondering if I will find any others. We all recognise how we are not totally rational after a cancer diagnosis. I am curious to explore the upsides and downside of this irrationality.

I believe my survivor path has been littered with examples of irrational and rational behaviour, beneficial and otherwise. One example of an upside of irrationality, is that I believed that I going to survive longer than average. This made me do more research and look into complementary medicine; as well as posting so many articles here.

At one stage, I fell into the more is better fallacy - if something is good for you then more must be better and kept adding new supplements. I was able ration these by realising there are only so many things you can take. I was also aware of the concept of diminishing marginal utility.

So lets see where this goes - passing interest or useful further down the track?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:27 am 
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Higher co-payments lead women to discontinue life-saving breast cancer therapy

A new study found that higher presciption co-payments appear linked to the disconinuation or incomplete use of a life-saving breast cancer therapy, especially among older women.

The treatment, called adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy, is for women with hormone-sensitive, early stage breast cancer.

Results of the study were presented at a recent Breast Cancer Symposium by Dawn L. Hershman, co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University. Hershman and her colleagues studied 8,110 women ages 50 to 65 and 14,050 women older than 65.

"We looked at two different factors: women who discontinued use altogether or had no subsequent refills and those that did not refill their presciptions on time or did not take the medication at least 80% of the time," Hershman said.

Researchers found that women 65 and older were more likely to discontinue the medication if their co-payments were more than $30. However, co-payments needed to reach $90 or more before women under age 65 became more likely to discontinue use or fail to take the treatment as prescribed.

"While high co-payments have been shown to reduce compliance for other drugs, this is the first study to show an impact on such a crucial drug where mortality can be so directly at stake," said Alfred Neugut, professor of cancer research at Columbia's College of Physician and Surgeons.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/111754889.html

[comment - if you were purely rational wouldn't your life be worth more than $30 a week or do these older ladies think 'well I've had a good life'? Alternatively, if they were born in tough times maybe the threshold for health expenditure is lower? Can you see why I find this analysis interesting?]


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:36 am 
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Why Do Risks With Human Characteristics Make Powerful Consumers Feel Lucky?

ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2010) — People who feel powerful are more likely to believe they can beat cancer if it's described in human terms, according to new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

The study looks at anthropomorphism, or the tendency to attribute humanlike characteristics, intentions, and behavior to nonhuman objects. "The present research shows important downstream consequences of anthropomorphism that go beyond simple liking of products with humanlike physical features," write authors Sara Kim and Ann L. McGill (both University of Chicago).

Previous consumer research has already demonstrated that consumers tend to like objects that they perceive to possess human characteristics. The authors take this further to investigate the effect of anthropomorphism on risk perception. "We examine people's assessment of the risks associated with a gambling machine and a disease and how these risk perceptions may vary depending on whether these risk-bearing entities are anthropomorphized or not," the authors write.

In their first study, the researchers found that participants who had recently recalled an incident where they felt powerful perceived lower risk toward a slot machine game and were more likely to play it when the machine had a humanlike face. In contrast, people who felt powerless felt greater risk in the game and were less willing to play it when the machine resembled a human.

In their next study, the authors found that people who felt powerful felt they could better control skin cancer when it was described as if it had humanlike evil intentions to hurt people. And people who felt less powerful believed they had little control over the disease when it was described in human terms; therefore they perceived greater risk.

In a final experiment, the authors reversed the situation to try to determine whether risk perceptions would affect people's tendency to anthropomorphize depending on their feelings of power. "We show that participants with low power were more likely to anthropomorphize the slot machine after losing the game, whereas those with high power were more likely to anthropomorphize after winning the game," the authors conclude.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 112233.htm


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:22 am 
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Elizabeth Edwards and the Problem with Metaphors for Cancer

It was a sad day several weeks ago when Elizabeth Edwards, a woman who had faced much adversity in her life, succumbed to a breast cancer that had spread to her bones and liver. During her experience with illness, Elizabeth Edwards provided us a rare glimpse of public dignity and grace in the face of adversity. In her last Facebook entry she confronted death not as something to be endlessly battled or feared, but as an inevitable event that is an integral part of life.

Faced with the certainty of immanent death, she chose not to battle on with another round of pointlessly debilitating chemotherapy. Rather, she chose to return to the peace and tranquility of home, where, surrounded by family and friends, she died with dignity.

Elizabeth Edwards's way of confronting illness and death is in stark contrast with the way most Americans confront diseases that have no cures. If we just fight for a few more months of precious life, we'll be remembered as a courageous warrior who battled bravely against the odds.

In mainstream American culture we think little about illness and less about the inevitability of death. For most of us, illness is a nuisance that forces us from the routine of daily life. We get sick, swallow some pills, and take off for a few days of restorative rest after which we get back to "normal." I fit this profile for the first 50 years of my life. I exercised regularly, ate well and limited my exposure to stress. Because I was hardly ever sick, I thought little about the specter of illness in my life. Then I unexpectedly got diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a "manageable" but still incurable form of blood cancer. All of sudden my world turned topsy-turvy. I not only had to make decisions that would shape the quality of my life, but was compelled to confront the brutal fact of my own mortality. Illness was no longer peripheral of my life; it was front and center as I went through a nine-month course of chemotherapy and another 18 months of maintenance therapy. Like millions of people who are members of what sociologist Arthur Frank calls the "remission society," I could no longer count on a quick cure and rapid re-entry to my previous life.

This set of experiences took me back to my early anthropological fieldwork in the Republic of Niger, where I studied traditional healing with a local master. He taught me a great many things about plants and incantations, but in retrospect, I was too young to understand the full scope of his teaching. The experience of cancer, however, forced me to appreciate his wisdom. From the perspective of the "remission society" in which illnesses have no cures, I now fully realized what my teacher, Adamu Jenitongo, had long ago tried to impress upon me: that illness is part of life, a visitor who can shows up on your doorstep at any moment; that you can learn to live well with illness, but never defeat it. No matter the adversity of life, he taught me, you should always try to squeeze from it as much sweetness as you can manage.

In mainstream American culture the metaphors for illness, especially those associated with cancer, make my teacher's lessons difficult ones to follow. Serious illnesses like cancer are seen as adversaries that we must defeat. We battle cancer. We fight our illnesses. We should never give up. Those who fight the enemy are seen positive. The warriors may have lost their battle with cancer, but they fought to the end.

Elizabeth Edwards's example demonstrates that this path is, to say the least, counter-productive. The endless war against cancer has produced numerous victories, but do those victories squeeze existential sweetness from the pulp of life? Most of the cancer patients I've met confront their disease with dignity. They don't want to be treated like a brave warrior or a sick patient, but rather like a regular person who is doing the best they can, a person who is attempting to live her or his life with dignity and love. As Elizabeth Edwards last days ably demonstrated that is what a life well lived is all about.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stol ... 97897.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:22 am 
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I feel proud to be a part of this community which really makes us aware of different types of cancer and necessary treatment require for it. Thanks kenobewan for sharing different cancers faced by different people and about their symptoms if we are aware of this we may treat someone who are in need. I like to go through articles written by you it really makes me aware of new treatments and I suggest people the same.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Energy = Light = Health

Its time for a new signature.

We all know the relationship of energy and light, in layman's terms at least. I have become interested between their relationship to health.

The epitomy of a healthy person is someone full of energy. Even their thoughts exude energy and positivity. Most children epitomise this heathly energy.

Then there is the relationship of light to health. Sunshine is good for us. When are at our natural body weights we have a lightness in our step. When we eat good food we feel better.

Let's turn this around. When people are sick they are always tired and without energy. The most common symptom is fatigue. Who's happy when they are sick?

Then there is the 'darkness' of ill health. A sedentary lifestyle, based indoors and eating processed food; only making you more tired. There is usually a weight of ill health whether through obesity or lack of strength.

Such fatigue and darkness can only result in ill health.

So I believe good health comes from energy and light. How do I measure whether a lifestyle change is working? Through energy and light, light being the means and energy the end. Anytime my energy increases I believe that I am on the right track :).

Take care,
Ken.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:44 am 
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katlyn wrote:
I feel proud to be a part of this community which really makes us aware of different types of cancer and necessary treatment require for it. Thanks kenobewan for sharing different cancers faced by different people and about their symptoms if we are aware of this we may treat someone who are in need. I like to go through articles written by you it really makes me aware of new treatments and I suggest people the same.

I agree with you dude because its awesome board having great stuff about the Brain Tumour Survivor and many others such topics.,


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 am 
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Epilepsy sufferers 'discriminated against'

A new study has painted a bleak picture of life for people living with epilepsy in Australia.

A survey of more than 340 people with the brain disorder and their carers found most faced discrimination at school or work, suffered high numbers of injuries from seizures, and were among the lowest wage earners in Australia.

The research was carried out by the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria and Epilepsy Australia in an attempt to highlight for the first time the psychological, social and physical challenges for those with the brain disorder.

It found that despite epilepsy being a common condition with 224,000 Australians diagnosed, half of those surveyed battled discrimination from the community and employers.

Discrimination often made it hard to find work, with one third of those surveyed earning less than $250 a week.

More than half also suffered multiple injuries as a result of seizures, with many needing hospital treatment for broken bones, teeth and dislocated shoulders.

One in five had experienced more than 20 seizures in a year and more than half suffered from depression.

Epilepsy Foundation president Professor Mark Cook said one of the most alarming findings was the levels of discrimination epileptics faced.

"People still believe it's a contagious disease or psychiatric condition which carries consequences for people at work and school," he said.

"It's inappropriate and it relates to this medieval idea people have about epilepsy and it's something awful and dreadful. You see it all the time, this kind of revulsion.

"We need to get rid of this ancient stigma about this disease."

Melbourne chef and mother to three children with epilepsy, Christine Walker, is often met by discriminatory attitudes.

Her eldest child Cassandra, 17, has begun a first-year chef's apprenticeship while in her final year of high school.

But her dream career could be hard to fulfil as potential employers are demanding a certificate from her neurologist guaranteeing she will not have a seizure.

"It shouldn't be that way," Mrs Walker said.

"These are not things you would ask if someone had diabetes or asthma or arthritis.

"These people all know their illness and their limitations."

Mrs Walker, whose husband Darrel also has epilepsy but works full time as a store manager, said the discrimination can start at a young age.

When Cassandra was in kindergarten and had a seizure, one of the other mums grabbed her daughter and pulled her away and said 'how dare you let your child come to school' to Mrs Walker.

"I think people should remember that they can get an illness and quite easily acquire a brain injury and from that you can have seizures."

Epilepsy can develop at any age and the causes can vary.

Injuries to the brain can trigger epilepsy but in half of all cases the cause of the disorder is not known, with only a small percentage having a genetic link.

Seizures are most common in children followed by those aged 55 and over and are often kept under control with medication as well as healthy diets and plenty of rest.

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-na ... 1kib0.html


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:28 am 
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RUOK? Day founder Gavin Larkin loses battle with cancer, aged 42

SUICIDE prevention campaigner and founder of R U OK? Day, Gavin Larkin, has died after a 19-month battle with cancer. He was 42.

Mr Larkin died surrounded by family at home in Coogee, in Sydney's east, on Wednesday afternoon.

His death comes one week after the third annual R U OK Day, a national day of action aimed at preventing suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with each other.

"His dying wish was to see R U OK? Day take off and I really believe that his health held on to the very last moment to see the campaign this year," R U OK co-founder Janina Nearn said.

Mr Larkin was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in February 2010 and underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.
In July, doctors told him there was nothing else they could do.

''He will never be forgotten for who he was, how he lived and what he has left behind,'' a statement posted on Mr Larkin's blog read.

''I know I speak on behalf of all that knew him when I say Gav, thank you for being you. The world is a better place for having had you in it.''
Dozens posted tributes on his blog site.

''You made a massive impact on so many strangers, let alone friends,'' one person wrote.

R U OK staff posted on the organisation's Twitter feed: ``Gavin's vision and passion for ruokday will be carried by his team who are committed to ensuring the ongoing success of R U OK? Day.''

Mr Larkin is survived by his wife Maryanne and children Gus, Josie and Van.

He enjoyed a career as a successful advertising executive before deciding to launch R U OK?.

It was a decision spurred, in part, by his father's suicide in 1995 and his own battle with depression,

''I'd reached a point in my life where I was just kind of questioning everything,'' he told the ABC.

''I had all of the trophies and a lot of success, but not a lot of joy.

''I was pretty depressed and I was concerned because my father had taken his own life 15 years before.

''I was worried if I didn't do anything to sort out my problems that before you know it I might be considering what he did.''

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/na ... 6143676995


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:32 am 
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Cancer Myths Persist, Survey Shows

Misconceptions about what causes cancer and how it spreads still hold sway, a new British study shows. Researchers also found a widespread lack of awareness about the roles that poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity play in the development of the disease.

"It is clear that there is a continual need for education into the causes of cancer," study researcher Paul Symonds, of the University of Leicester's department for cancer studies and molecular medicine, said in a statement.

Between September 2007 and January 2010, researchers at that university surveyed 279 patients who had been diagnosed with cancer at the Leicestershire Cancer Centre. The researchers aimed to compare the cancer beliefs of British South Asian cancer patients with those of Caucasian cancer patients.

The findings showed that both groups overemphasize pollution, stress and injury as causes of cancer, while displaying a general lack of awareness about the potential correlation between an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and obesity and the development of cancer.

"We clearly have more work to do in educating the public on the effect of diet and obesity," Symonds said.

Myths about cancer's spread

Reflecting the public's common misconceptions about cancer, almost one-quarter of the participants asserted that they believed cancer was caused by injury. And 20 percent of people in both groups wrongly believed that cancer treatments — surgery in particular — could cause cancer to spread.

Almost 30 percent of the participants believed that alternative treatments, which include acupuncture and herbal supplements, could be as effective as surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. This cancer myth was held by almost twice as many of the South Asian patients as Caucasian patients, the study said.

"Myths such as the belief that surgery causes cancer to spread and that alternative treatment is as effective as conventional treatments should be challenged," study researcher Karen Lord said in a statement. "It is vital that those diagnosed with cancer have accurate information about treatment options so that they can make informed decisions about their care."

Early screening

On a positive note, the study showed that 93 percent of the participants understood the advantages of early cancer screenings. The vast majority of the patients also believed that cancer is curable, with only 10.6 percent of the South Asian group and 2.7 percent of the Caucasian group reporting they think it's incurable.

"The good news is that the majority of the sample believed that cancer was curable and screening effective, while 84 percent appreciated that smoking could cause cancer," Symonds said.

The study, funded by the Leicestershire-based charity Hope Against Cancer, was recently published in the journal Clinical Oncology.

Pass it on: Although misconceptions about what causes cancer and how it can be treated are common, a majority of British cancer patients believe that cancer can be cured and recognize the importance of early cancer screenings.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/09/2 ... vey-shows/


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:31 am 
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Pressure grows for an Aussie 'fat tax'

HEALTH advocates are renewing calls for a "fat tax" in Australia, after Denmark became the first country in the world to introduce one.

Jane Martin, the senior adviser with pressure group Obesity Policy Coalition, said a fat tax was needed to curb rising obesity rates.

Six in 10 Australian adults, and one in four children, are overweight or obese.

"We think unhealthy foods should be taxed and the funds raised used to subsidise healthy food for people on a low income," Ms Martin said.

Price was an important factor in food-buying decisions, and it was of concern that the cost of healthy foods was rising faster than the cost of the alternatives, she said.

"We know price plays a role in our decisions, and taxes are used in alcohol and tobacco sales to change people's behaviours," she said.

"It would be interesting to see the impact the fat tax would have in Denmark."

A tax on junk food was recommended by the National Preventative Health Taskforce, but the Government failed to respond to it, Ms Martin said.

It was ignored in last year's Henry Tax Review and was not on the agenda at this week's tax forum in Canberra.

"It's been avoided, really ... pushed sideways, and it's a concern because other countries are looking at this," Ms Martin said.

Public health expert Dr Ken Harvey, of La Trobe University, said a societal approach was needed to fight the obesity problem and its health consequences.

A spokesman for federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Government was doing more to tackle obesity than any other administration.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/pressu ... 6156393686


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:35 am 
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Breast cancer patient gets a TSA pat-down, TSA gets a smackdown

AnotherTransportation Security Administration pat-down gone wrong is in the news again. This time the unfortunate pat-downee is Lori Dorn, a New York-based human resources professional who underwent a bilateralmastectomy in April and was traveling throughJohn F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

You can already see where this one is going.

According to Dorn's Sept. 30 blog post, a TSA agent wanted to pat down her breast area after seeing something on the body scanner--Dorn said it's probably tissue expanders placed in her chest for reconstruction surgery down the road.

Although Dorn said she told the TSA agent she didn't want her breasts touched and offered to show them a card in her wallet describing the expanders, evidently that didn't do the trick. On her blog she writes: "This request was denied. Instead, she called over a female supervisor who told me the exam had to take place. I was again told that I could not retrieve the card and needed to submit to a physical exam in order to be cleared. She then said, 'And if we don't clear you, you don't fly' loud enough for other passengers to hear. And they did. And they stared at the bald woman being yelled at by a TSA Supervisor.

"To my further dismay, my belongings, including my computer, were completely out of sight. I had no choice but to allow an agent to touch my breasts in front of other passengers."

She goes on to say that considering she's been through "emotional and physical hell" in the past year due to her cancer, the way she was treated caused her great humiliation.

Dorn has been tweeting about the incident, and Monday the TSA responded to the situation on its TSABlog. "We do our best to treat passengers with the dignity and respect they deserve, but in Lori Dorn's case, it looks like we missed our mark."

The agency goes on to say it sincerely regrets and apologizes for Dorn's experience, added that the Federal Security director for the airport has "personally reached out to learn more about what happened so he can help ensure that she and others will have better travel experiences in the future."

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a Texas-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting breast cancer, said it is closely watching the impact of new airport screening procedures, including scanning machines and pat-downs, on millions of breast cancer survivors. While declining to comment on Dorn's situation, the group did say that those with prosthetic devices may have to go through secondary screenings. "We have heard reports that some survivors have been subject to this secondary screening, many describing it as extensive and embarrassing. We of course expect security employees to treat breast cancer survivors and all persons with medical devices with dignity and respect, and will be closely monitoring."

As we mentioned above, this is is not the first time the TSA has been in hot water for treating passengers with health issues insensitively. In July a 95-year-old Florida woman and cancer patient alleged that she was forced to remove her adult diaper as part of an airport security pat-down. Evidently she didn't have another diaper with her. According to news sources the TSA later issued a statement saying it had reviewed the incident and determined that the officers acted professionally and according to procedure. The agency also denied asking the woman to remove her diaper.

Last November a bladder cancer survivor with a urostomy bag went though a pat-down that resulted in a broken seal and leaked urine. The man said he warned the TSA agent about the bag, but the pat-down continued anyway. So as not to miss his flight he had to board the plane still soaked in urine.

http://www.latimes.com/health/boostersh ... 9025.story


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:25 am 
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Downsides of cancer care rarely seen in black media

(Reuters Health) - Few media stories on cancer venture into issues of death, dying and end-of-life care -- and outlets directed at African Americans are particularly unlikely to do so, a new study suggests.

Historically, African Americans with advanced cancer have been more likely than whites to opt for aggressive treatment, and less likely to want hospice care.

The goal of hospice care is to improve quality of life for terminally ill people, treating their pain and other physical and psychological symptoms. There's also evidence that hospice care, which is usually provided at home, does not speed death -- and in some cases, may help people live longer than aggressive cancer treatment would.

But doctors often don't bring up options for end-of-life care -- even those caring for people with advanced cancer, said Jessica M. Fishman, the lead researcher on the new study.

Since people often get medical information from the media, Fishman and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia looked at whether there might be racial differences in how the media cover cancer care.

And they found that while few mainstream media stories talked about the downsides of aggressive cancer treatment -- or about hospice care at all -- African-American media were even less likely to do so.

The researchers analyzed 264 cancer-focused stories that ran in any of four urban newspapers with a mostly African-American readership, or any of four African-American magazines, including Ebony and Essence. They found that none of the stories discussed hospice care.

In addition, only 14 percent mentioned the adverse effects of cancer therapies, and just 4 percent noted that cancer treatment can fail to cure.

Fishman's team found that eight mainstream urban newspapers and national magazines like Time and Redbook did better -- though not all that much.

A handful of stories (7 out of 396) talked about hospice or end-of-life care. Meanwhile, almost one-third gave some attention to the adverse effects of cancer therapy, while 14 percent mentioned that cancer treatment can fail.

"The news media rarely report on these issues," Fishman told Reuters Health. "And some groups may be even less informed than others. I think that's something the public should be concerned about."

It's not clear why African-American media were particularly unlikely to cover the negative sides of cancer treatment, or to cover hospice care at all.

And it's also not clear, Fishman said, that the lack of media coverage actually affects terminally ill cancer patients' decisions on treatment.

But she argued that patients, and the public in general, should get a more balanced portrayal of cancer in the media. "Lance Armstrong-like survival stories do not reflect the reality of many patients," Fishman said.

It's estimated that about half of Americans diagnosed with cancer will not survive the disease, Fishman and her colleagues note in the report. And African Americans tend to have higher death rates from cancer than other racial groups.

"I'd like to see the media not only offer people hope and hype, but some help as well," Fishman said.

People with cancer, she noted, may well find that they have to bring up the issue of end-of-life care with their doctors, who are not likely to raise the question themselves. "Make it really clear that you want that information," Fishman advised.

The bigger issue, she said, is that everyone needs to be more open about discussing death and dying. "We can put our heads in the sand about end-of-life care," she said, "or we can find out how to make things better for patients and their loved ones."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/ ... 5V20111005


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:05 am 
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Brain 'rejects negative thoughts'

One reason optimists retain a positive outlook even in the face of evidence to the contrary has been discovered, say researchers.

A study, published in Nature Neuroscience, suggests the brain is very good at processing good news about the future.

However, in some people, anything negative is practically ignored - with them retaining a positive world view.

The authors said optimism did have important health benefits.

Scientists at University College London said about 80% of people were optimists, even if they would not label themselves as such.

They rated 14 people for their level of optimism and tested them in a brain scanner.

Each was asked how likely 80 different "bad events" - including a divorce or having cancer - were to happen.

They were then told how likely this was in reality. At the end of the session, the participants were asked to rate the probabilities again.

There was a marked difference in the updated scores of optimists depending on whether the reality was good or bad news.

Dr Tali Sharot, lead researcher, gave the example of the risk of cancer being set at 30%.

If the patient thought their risk was 40%, then at the end of the experiment they downgraded their own risk to about 31%, she said.

However, if the patient originally thought their risk was 10%, they only marginally increased their risk - they "leaned a little bit, but not a lot".

Pick and choose

When the news was positive, all people had more activity in the brain's frontal lobes, which are associated with processing errors. With negative information, the most optimistic people had the least activity in the frontal lobes, while the least optimistic had the most.

It suggests the brain is picking and choosing which evidence to listen to.

Dr Sharot said: "Smoking kills messages don't work as people think their chances of cancer are low. The divorce rate is 50%, but people don't think it's the same for them. There is a very fundamental bias in the brain."

Dr Chris Chambers, neuroscientist from the University of Cardiff, said: "It's very cool, a very elegant piece of work and fascinating.

"For me, this work highlights something that is becoming increasingly apparent in neuroscience, that a major part of brain function in decision-making is the testing of predictions against reality - in essence all people are 'scientists'.

"And despite how sophisticated these neural networks are, it is illuminating to see how the brain sometimes comes up with wrong and overly optimistic answers despite the evidence."

Optimism seem to be good for your health. A study on nearly 100,000 women showed a lower risk of heart disease and death in optimists.

But as Dr Sharot points out: "The negative aspect is that we underestimate risks."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15214080


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:41 am 
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More Aussies insure their health

MORE than 97,000 Australians have taken out hospital cover since June, despite this year's 5.56 per cent premium rise.

More than 45 per cent of people had hospital cover in the September quarter - an increase of 97,400 people since June, Private Health Insurance Administration Council figures show.

And more than 120,000 people signed up for extras cover, with some having also taken up hospital cover.

It means more than 50 per cent of the population now has some form of private health insurance.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon seized on the figures to argue the insurance industry was in good shape and would not be hurt by the Federal Government's plan to means-test the private health rebate. The plan would reduce subsidies for high-income earners.

Existing 30, 35 and 40 per cent rebates would stay for almost eight million low and middle-income earners but there are fears the plan would reduce membership.

"We don't believe that lower and middle-income Australians should subsidise the private health insurance of millionaires," Ms Roxon said.

The government maintains that unless savings to the cost of the rebate can be made, Australia faces a $100 billion budget black hole over the next 40 years that would require savings elsewhere in the health system.

But it looks set to miss its January start date after the Senate twice blocked the $2.78 billion 2009-10 budget savings measure.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6198201738


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