The Health News Australia April 19 2018

  • Bowel cancer kills conversation, but it doesn’t have to kill you. That’s the message behind a new campaign urging Australians aged 50-74 to use their government-funded, home-delivered bowel cancer screening kit as soon as they receive it in the mail. Currently, only 39% of Australians who receive the free and potentially life-saving test use it. Data released by the Cancer Institute of NSW found 40% of people surveyed who had received a kit, but not used it, said the main reason was because they “didn’t have time”.
  • Experts are calling for greater awareness about the impact gas stoves and damp houses have on the lung health of children. Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia investigated the links between the common indoor exposures and asthma in children. Living in a damp home is also quite common in Australia and can also adversely affect children’s lungs. The study identified the presence of dampness in 26% of Australian homes. With childhood asthma rates in Australia among the highest in the world, the researchers have called for greater awareness of these household hazards.
  • The 2018 flu season is “unlikely” to be as severe as last year’s, which was responsible for a record number of influenza-related deaths in Australia. However, influenza remains a major global pandemic threat, and experts say people must get vaccinated to protect the vulnerable from the deadly virus. At the start of this week there had been a total of 11,057 laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza in Australia for 2018, according to data recorded by the Immunisation Coalition.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-04-17/bowel-cancer-screening-test-why-you-should-do-it/9666190

Bowel cancer kills conversation, but it doesn’t have to kill you. That’s the message behind a new campaign urging Australians aged fifty to seventy four to use their government-funded, home-delivered bowel cancer screening kit as soon as they receive it in the mail. Currently, only thirty nine percent of Australians who receive the free and potentially life-saving test use it. Data released by the Cancer Institute of New South Wales found forty percent of people surveyed who had received a kit, but not used it, said the main reason was because they “didn’t have time”. Christopher Horn, Bowel Cancer Screening Manager at Cancer Institute New South Wales, said doing the test was important because when it comes to bowel cancer treatment, early detection is “critical”.

More than four thousand Australians die from bowel cancer each year, and more than seventeen thousand new cases are expected to be diagnosed in two thousand eighteen.
Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages, but it often develops without warning signs. Currently, fewer than forty percent of bowel cancers are detected early.
Bowel cancer begins when cells in the bowel lining grow too quickly. These growths are often benign, but over time, some growths become cancerous. If left untreated, cancers can develop and then spread to other parts of the body.

Research has shown screening for bowel cancer using the at-home kits can reduce deaths from the disease by fifteen to twenty five percent.

Under the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (established in two thousand six), the Federal Government provides free, at-home bowel cancer screening kits to Australians aged between fifty and seventy four years old.
https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/asthma/3/news/aap/gas-stoves-and-damp-houses-are-contributing-to-the-high-rates-of-childhood-asthma-in-australia/3301/

Experts are calling for greater awareness about the impact gas stoves and damp houses have on the lung health of children. Research published in the Medical Journal of Australia investigated the links between the common indoor exposures and asthma in children.
Doctor Luke Knibbs, from the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research and University of Queensland’s School of Public Health said: “We found that twelve percent of childhood asthma is attributable to exposure to gas stoves used for cooking, and eight per cent is linked to household dampness.”

Doctor Knibss says cooking with gas releases chemicals such as nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde, which causes inflammation in the airways and exacerbates asthma.

Living in a damp home is also quite common in Australia and can also adversely affect children’s lungs. The study identified the presence of dampness in twenty six percent of Australian homes. With childhood asthma rates in Australia among the highest in the world, the researchers have called for greater awareness of these household hazards.
….
According to the Growing Up in Australia longitudinal study, within the first three years of life sixteen point nine percent of infants experience asthma or wheeze. Among non-asthmatic children aged four to five years, four point one percent will develop asthma by the age of seven. To reduce the effects of gas on young lungs, parents are advised to use high-efficiency range-hoods.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/health/flu-season-to-be-moderate-to-severe-ng-s-1850834

The two thousand eighteen flu season is “unlikely” to be as severe as last year’s, which was responsible for a record number of influenza-related deaths in Australia. However, influenza remains a major global pandemic threat, and experts say people must get vaccinated to protect the vulnerable from the deadly virus.
….
At the start of this week there had been a total of eleven thousand fifty seven laboratory confirmed notifications of influenza in Australia for two thousand eighteen, according to data recorded by the Immunisation Coalition. This is higher than previous years, although the numbers are on the decline. Both influenza A and B strains were circulating at similar levels.
A fast-mutating and evolving strain of influenza A (H-three-N-two) – the “worst kind” of flu – defied efforts to stop its spread in two thousand seventeen and was blamed for the majority of reported deaths, mostly among the elderly.
….
In a bid to avoid a repeat of last year, health authorities have introduced a new, improved vaccine, plus free ‘super vaccines’ for the elderly. The standard vaccine will again immunise against four strains of the flu, including an updated immunisation for the HthreeNtwo strain.

Laureate Professor Peter Doherty from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne explained that no influenza vaccine is perfect because the virus mutates all the time. For a relatively healthy person, the beginning of May is the perfect time to get the flu shot. But if people have known risk factors like heart disease and diabetes, then they are advised to get it earlier.

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