The Health News Australia November 16 2017

  • A group of elderly and bedridden residents will lose their homes just before Christmas as the scandal-plagued retirement village Berkeley Living in Patterson Lakes prepares to close. The closure comes after the owners of units in the village, who are financial victims of convicted criminal Stephen Snowden, were hit with threats of fines and building repair costs in excess of $500,000 by the City of Kingston in Melbourne’s south-east after the building was deemed “dangerous”.
  • E-cigarettes and their potential health effects have been hotly contested for some time. Advocates say they are a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes, and could help smokers quit, and, ultimately, save lives. But many Australian public health experts oppose the use of e-cigarettes, arguing there isn’t enough evidence to show they’re safe.
    Australia has long been considered a world leader in tobacco control — smoking rates have dropped by nearly 10% over the past two decades.
  • Australian researchers are working on a revolutionary vaccine to help people in their fight against breast and gastric cancer. The vaccine, developed by Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company Imugene, is designed to treat patients with higher-than-normal levels of the HER2 protein which can cause cancer to become more aggressive.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/news/retirement-village-residents-to-lose-homes-before-christmas/

A group of elderly and bedridden residents will lose their homes just before Christmas as the scandal-plagued retirement village Berkeley Living in Patterson Lakes prepares to close.
The closure comes after the owners of units in the village, who are financial victims of convicted criminal Stephen Snowden, were hit with threats of fines and building repair costs in excess of five hundred thousand dollars by the City of Kingston in Melbourne’s south-east after the building was deemed “dangerous”. A representative for the owners of the units said they didn’t have the money to carry out the repairs and as a result the Council has ordered it to be closed. On November thirty, all utilities will be switched off.

Several of the elderly residents have moved to alternative accommodation in recent weeks but the fate of those remaining remains unclear with the council not responding to multiple calls from The Age. Sources said the council will try and place them in alternative accommodation, with some residents reluctant to leave. The planned closure comes after The Age revealed in September that state authorities, including Victoria Police, had intervened in the management of the facility after staff had not been paid for months. Prior to the government intervention residents were being cared for and supplied food by friends living nearby.

The affected residents include people in their nineties, a quadriplegic and another person with Alzheimer’s. Staff had walked out weeks after The Age revealed that more than thirty families had sold units at Berkeley Living but were never paid the money they were owed. They have been fighting to get the money back.
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Last month members of the owners corporation received a notice from the council ordering that urgent building repairs take place at the facility. Despite the building being deemed as an aged care facility under the building codes by the council, Berkeley Living remains a retirement village that is regulated by Consumer Affairs.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-11-14/e-cigarettes-is-australia-out-of-step-with-other-countries/9138430

E-cigarettes and their potential health effects have been hotly contested for some time.
Advocates say they are a less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes, and could help smokers quit, and, ultimately, save lives. But many Australian public health experts oppose the use of e-cigarettes, arguing there isn’t enough evidence to show they’re safe.

They point to Australia’s low smoking rates, and say we should continue what we’re doing to lower them further. In their view, there’s no need for a new, potentially dangerous product.
Last month, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he would never lift the ban on e-cigarettes, despite an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into their use. But Mister Hunt’s position is at odds with health authorities in comparable nations including England, Scotland and more recently, New Zealand, who have backed e-cigarettes in a bid to lower smoking rates and reduce harm.

Australia has long been considered a world leader in tobacco control — smoking rates have dropped by nearly ten per cent over the past two decades. “We have very low rates of smoking that are going lower, and we don’t need to experiment with something like e-cigarettes at the moment,” Professor Matthew Peters, Head of Respiratory Medicine at Concord Hospital in Sydney, told The Health Report.
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The existing legal framework around e-cigarettes is complex. In some states, you can buy just the vaping device, while in other states their sale is illegal. But buying, possessing or using liquid nicotine in an e-cigarette is illegal across Australia — a ban that was upheld by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in March. The TGA decided there was a risk people who had never smoked may take up the habit after using nicotine e-cigarettes. The TGA is also concerned vaping may make the practice of smoking more acceptable again, damaging the campaign to decrease tobacco use in Australia. But some say the TGA looked only at the potential risks of e-cigarettes, not the benefits, and argue Australia is out of step with the UK, US, European Union, Canada and now New Zealand.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/oncology/4/news/aap/hope-for-breast-and-gastric-cancer-patients/3015/

Australian researchers are working on a revolutionary vaccine to help people in their fight against breast and gastric cancer.The vaccine, developed by Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company Imugene, is designed to treat patients with higher-than-normal  levels of the HER two protein which can cause cancer to become more aggressive. Imugene’s chief scientific officer Ursula Wiedermann said the vaccine helps stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight the cancer and could in future be used in combination with chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Repeated doses of the vaccine would continue to be given to patients to help keep cancer at bay.
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The HER-vaxx is currently being trialled among gastric cancer patients in Asia. The HER two protein, also known as human epidermal growth factor receptor two , helps cells grow and divide. But when too much of the protein is produced in the body it can cause cancer to grow faster and spread. About one in five people have HER two-positive breast cancer.

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