The Health News United Kingdom November 11 2017

  • A study has found that breast cancer can resurface after remaining dormant for 15 years following successful treatment. Women with large tumours and cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes had the highest 40% risk of it coming back. Researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine said extending treatment with hormone therapy could reduce the risk of it recurring.
  • Experts say that soaring numbers of older mothers and obesity levels are fuelling record levels of caesarean births. Official figures show 27.8 per cent of births in 2016/17 involved the intervention, the highest recorded, and an 11 per cent rise in five years.
    Doctors said the figures reflected increasing complex cases, due to rising maternal age, and higher levels of obesity, which increase childbirth risks.
  • The WHO has said that farmers must stop giving antibiotics to healthy animals because they are fuelling the rise of superbugs. Considerable amounts of antibiotics are administered to animals in the UK to prevent infections, especially in intensive farming. The drugs are also given to animals to promote growth in the US and Asia, although the practice has been banned in the European Union since 2006.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41928647

A study has found that breast cancer can resurface after remaining dormant for fifteen years following successful treatment.  Women with large tumours and cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes had the highest forty percent risk of it coming back. Researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine said extending treatment with hormone therapy could reduce the risk of it recurring. Scientists analysed the progress of sixty three thousand women for twenty years. All had the most common form of breast cancer. This is a type fuelled by the hormone oestrogen which can stimulate cancer cells to grow and divide. Every patient received treatments such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors which block the effects of oestrogen or shut off the hormone’s supply. Although after five years of treatment their cancers had gone, over the next fifteen years a steady number of women found that their cancer spread throughout their body – some up to twenty years after diagnosis.

Lead researcher Doctor Hongchao Pan, from University of Oxford, said: “It is remarkable that breast cancer can remain dormant for so long and then spread many years later, with this risk remaining the same year after year and still strongly related to the size of the original cancer and whether it had spread to the lymph nodes.”

Aromatase inhibitors, which only work for postmenopausal women, are believed to be even more effective. But there are side effects with hormone treatments which can affect patients’ quality of life and cause them to stop taking the pills. These include menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Professor Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser at Cancer Research UK, which funded the study, said that since the research began, new drugs had been used to treat breast cancer and those worked in different ways to tamoxifen.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/09/soaring-numbers-older-mothers-obesity-fuel-record-caesareans/

Experts say that soaring numbers of older mothers and obesity levels are fuelling record levels of caesarean births.  Official figures show twenty seven point eight per cent of births in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen involved the intervention, the highest recorded, and an eleven percent rise in five years. Doctors said the figures reflected increasing complex cases, due to rising maternal age, and higher levels of obesity, which increase childbirth risks.

The report shows that overall, just fifty five point one percent of women had a spontaneous labour – a fall from sixty eight point seven per cent a decade earlier.  The remainder had caesareans or had their births induced, amid rising levels of complex cases. Edward Morris, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “These figures reflect the increasing number of complex births due to rising maternal age and obesity, together with more women with pre-existing medical conditions having babies.
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The proportion of over forties mothers has tripled in three decades. The new figures from NHS Digital show twenty four thousand three hundred eighty six births involving those aged forty and over, far more than the twenty thousand and twenty one among those under twenty. Separate figures show that the average age of first-time motherhood in England and Wales is now twenty eight point six, up from twenty three point five in nineteen seventy. Older women and those who are overweight are at higher risk of complications such as high blood pressure, diabetes and pre-eclampsia and of suffering stillbirth. Abi Wood, from the National Childbirth Trust said: “Pregnant women can always talk to their midwives about options including the risks and benefits to them and their babies of inductions, cesareans and waiting longer for spontaneous labour.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/farms-antibiotics-healthy-animals-stop-use-who-world-health-organisation-a8044056.html

The World Health Organization has said that farmers must stop giving antibiotics to healthy animals because they are fuelling the rise of superbugs.  Considerable amounts of antibiotics are administered to animals in the UK to prevent infections, especially in intensive farming.
The drugs are also given to animals to promote growth in the US and Asia, although the practice has been banned in the European Union since two thousand six.

The WHO has stated that overuse and misuse of the drugs is driving the rising threat of antibiotic resistance. Some kinds of bacteria that cause serious infections in humans have already developed resistance to all available treatments. England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has repeatedly warned the world faces a “post-antibiotic apocalypse”, after which routine medical operations would become too dangerous to perform because of the risk of infection. Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO said: “A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak.
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The health body strongly recommends completely banning use of medically important antibiotics in food-producing animals for growth promotion and disease prevention without diagnosis, it said. Only when an animal in the same herd, flock or fish population is diagnosed with an infection should antibiotics be given. It added that in those cases, the animals should be given types of antibiotics “least important” to human health.  The new guidelines are likely to prove unpopular with farmers, since it could reduce profits. But the health organisation can only make recommendations — only governments can enforce laws on farming. A spokesperson from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement the UK was making “excellent progress” in tackling antibiotic usage in farming, but did not comment on whether it was planning on enforcing the new guidelines.

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According to the WHO, in some countries, around eighty per cent of consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector.


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