The Health News Australia November 23 2017

  • Patients now have access to an interactive one-stop shop website for cancer information, with data on survival rates, screening and treatment. Cancer Australia CEO Professor Helen Zorbas said the new National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) website was a unique, national resource bringing reliable national data together for the first time. The website was designed for policymakers, governments, cancer organisation, researchers and health professionals.
  • Bannister Law is investigating a possible class action against the creators of Banana Boat aerosol sunscreens, after consumers complained of being burned while using the products. It has has launched its investigation today, after it asked skincare product-testing company Eurofins Dermatest to conduct independent tests on seven Banana Boat aerosol sunscreens. The tests showed that the sun protection factor (SPF) for Banana Boat’s SPF 50+ aerosol range fell short of the marketed SPF 50+
  • A Malaysian researcher has raised concern post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be going undiagnosed in cancer survivors. research suggests that PTSD in cancer patients may be much higher than previously thought. A Malaysian study of nearly 500 patients published in journal CANCER found 22% had partial or full PTSD six months after diagnosis.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

Australians have been warned against underestimating the impact of inactivity on their health, with a new report showing walking just an extra fifteen minutes a day could significantly reduce their risk of disease. Released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Wednesday, the report shows two point six percent of the total disease burden in Australia was due to physical inactivity. When physical inactivity was combined with the incidence of overweight and obesity the burden increased to nine per cent. But the impact could be significantly reduced with just small changes to levels of physical activity at a population level.

The report looks at the health impact of a lack of physical activity, both in terms of years of healthy life lost through living with an illness or injury, and through dying prematurely.
Using data from two thousand eleven, the analysis found inactivity was associated with seven diseases. The disease most closely linked to physical inactivity was diabetes – for which physical inactivity was responsible for nineteen per cent of the burden. Bowel and uterine cancer combined and dementia were the next top three diseases closely linked to sedentary behaviour, accounting for sixteen per cent and fourteen per cent of the physical inactivity burden. Being inactive also had a strong link with heart disease. One-third of the total burden due to physical inactivity in Australia was caused by heart disease. Heart Foundation National CEO John Kelly says people should not underestimated the impact of physical inactivity on their health.

For individuals on the autism spectrum, the bright lights and loud sounds of a busy supermarket can cause sensory overload. In response to customer feedback, Autism Spectrum Australia or Aspect in partnership with Coles, has rolled out “Quiet Hour” in sixty eight supermarket stores to make the shopping experience a little easier. After a successful trial in August, the initiative aims to prevent sensory overload by dimming the lights by fifty per cent, turning off the radio, turning down register and scanner volumes, avoiding public address announcements and avoiding trolley collections. People on the autism spectrum can find it difficult to process sensory information and can find sounds, light, smell, touch and taste overwhelming. Aspect community engagement and operations officer Linzi Coyle said the modifications were not just been about creating low physical and sensory stimulators.

The program will take place  between ten thirty am and eleven thirty am every Tuesday at sixty eight stores and all customers are invited to participate. Aspect has also trained team members to “increase their understanding of sensory overload and how to best respond to customer needs”.

The program is just one example of how Aspect is trying to create a more inclusive environment for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Autism Australia’s national manager Melissa Webster told ABC Radio National Drive Aspect was looking at working on similar programs with other organisations. “We’re wanting to gain as much information from people that access many different stores and have lots of different experience so that we can look at how we can approach those different environments to do things differently,” she said during the early stages of the trial in August.
Miss Webster said the changes had been made after both organisations received feedback on some of the challenges people with autism were experiencing while shopping in supermarkets.

This has also had a flow on effect for other customers, particularly the elderly population, who

have said they felt more comfortable with less crowds.

Mental health issues are the leading cause of sickness absence and long-term work incapacity in Australia — overtaking musculoskeletal problems in two thousand thirteen — and most developed countries. And the problem is driving people to suicide at an unprecedented rate. Eight Australians die by their own hand each day: six of them men. For every person who succeeds, there are another thirty who attempt suicide, with eighty five thousand nine hundred eighty people in this country trying to take their own lives in any given year. It is the most common cause of death in Australians aged fifteen to forty four, more likely to kill you than a motor vehicle accident or skin cancer. A massive twenty percent of suicides are linked to work. At a summit in May, crisis support service Lifeline said we were facing a “national suicide emergency”. It is one of the most critical threats to society — damaging our health and relationships, costing the economy and endangering our lives. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety cost Australian businesses up to twelve billion dollars.

This week, is running a series on work stress and suicide, meeting people who have developed severe work-related mental health disorders, contemplated suicide or loved someone who took their own life because of a job.

Some jobs with elevated rates of suicide include doctors, nurses, vets, lawyers and bankers. This is attributed to high demand, long hours, hierarchy, gender norms and — in the case of medical professions — daily trauma and access to the means to take your life.

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