The Health News Australia January 22 2018

  • A team of Australian and US researchers are heralding a simple new blood test that can detect early stage cancers before they have a chance to spread. Australian researchers say a groundbreaking new blood test that can detect eight common types of cancer before they spread will save countless lives. US and Aussie researchers say their “liquid biopsy” will be a game changer in the fight against cancer, and hope it could be widely available within a few years.
  • The Royal Flying Doctor Service is warning there is a mental health crisis in rural and remote parts of the country. The service’s chief executive Martin Laverty says five times as many people in cities are accessing mental health services compared to those in remote Australia. The service provided mental health counselling to 24,000 people last year.
  • The number of alcohol-related assaults in the Northern Territory has gone up despite the re-introduction of the Gunner Government’s banned drinker register (BDR). The BDR was designed to prevent people involved in a range of offences — including drink driving, committing alcohol-related domestic violence and being taken into protective custody for being intoxicated — from purchasing takeaway grog.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/oncology/4/news/aap/a-groundbreaking-new-blood-test-that-can-detect-eight-common-types-of-cancer/3127/

A team of Australian and US researchers are heralding a simple new blood test that can detect early stage cancers before they have a chance to spread. Australian researchers say a groundbreaking new blood test that can detect eight common types of cancer before they spread will save countless lives. US and Aussie researchers say their “liquid biopsy” will be a game changer in the fight against cancer, and hope it could be widely available within a few years.

The test was able to detect tumours, about seventy percent of the time on average, in more than one thousand patients with early-stage cancer and crucially before it had spread, giving patients the best chance of beating the disease.

It works by looking for mutated DNA that dying cells shed into the blood, and protein biomarkers associated with different types of cancer such as bowel, breast, liver, ovarian and stomach cancer. Professor Peter Gibbs from the Walter and Eliza Institute, who’s worked on the test dubbed CancerSEEK, believes it will save thousands of lives and hopes it won’t be too long before it’s widely available, and affordable.
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With cancer risks spiking from the age of fifty, he says the test will be most important to older people, but also for younger people whose family histories might put them in a high risk category. The test, developed by researchers at John Hopkins University in the US, is now being tested on ten thousand more people.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/doctors-warn-of-rural-mental-health-crisis

The Royal Flying Doctor Service is warning there is a mental health crisis in rural and remote parts of the country. The service’s chief executive Martin Laverty says five times as many people in cities are accessing mental health services compared to those in remote Australia.
….
The service provided mental health counselling to twenty four thousand five hundred people last year.  Mister Laverty said: “We could double or triple that service tomorrow and still not touch the surface.” Health Minister Greg Hunt acknowledges there is a “very significant challenge” with mental health in the regions. He said the government is working to provide additional services in the area such as rural Headspace, telehealth and online services.

Efforts are also being made over coming months to create a program of incentives to encourage more medical workers to move to the bush. Labor called on the government to prioritise greater funding for mental health services in the lead-up to the budget.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-20/alcohol-related-assaults-in-nt-increase-despite-bdr/9344950

The number of alcohol-related assaults in the Northern Territory has gone up despite the re-introduction of the Gunner Government’s banned drinker register (or BDR). The BDR was designed to prevent people involved in a range of offences — including drunk driving, committing alcohol-related domestic violence and being taken into protective custody for being intoxicated — from purchasing takeaway grog.

It requires people to have their identification scanned at bottle shops, with two thousand five hundred sixty five Territorians now banned from purchasing liquor. The BDR came back into force on September one last year, after an earlier iteration was scuttled by the former Country Liberals government.

The latest crime statistics from Northern Territory Police show alcohol-related assaults have increased twenty seven percent over the first three months of the BDR, compared with the same three-month period the previous year.

The police data also covers the nine months prior to the re-introduction of the BDR.
It shows there were three thousand nine hundred fifty two alcohol-related assaults over the period, an increase of seventeen point three percent on the previous year. In Darwin, assaults involving alcohol were up fifteen point five percent year-on-year. Alice Springs was up twenty two point three percent, while Palmerston had a forty point eight percent increase.

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