The Health News – 10 Nov 2014

Overview

  • Low survival rates for ovarian cancer are being targeted in a sweeping reform of research into the disease in Australia.
  • Children as young as two who are overweight or obese are at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as heart disease or stroke, a new study has revealed.
  • The back-to-front romance of IVF recipient Aminah Hart and her anonymous sperm donor, Scott Andersen, has moved up a notch with the announcement of their engagement.


Stories Discussed
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 10thNovember 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-09/ovarian-cancer-targeted-in-campaign-modelled-on-breast-cancer/5877884

Low survival rates for ovarian cancer are being targeted in a sweeping reform of research into the disease in Australia.

Ovarian Cancer Australia has announced a landmark national action plan, following in the footsteps of breast cancer researchers.

They hope the plan will see the same gains in survival rates and treatment options that similar strategies have made for other cancers.

The plan aims to diversify clinical trials and tailor treatment to specific subgroups of the disease that have only recently been discovered.

An initial investment of $1 million between Ovarian Cancer Australia and the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre has been put towards establishing new clinical trials that target the unique molecular characteristics of each cancer subgroup.

About 1,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year and only 43 per cent will live beyond five years after diagnosis.

Of the 14,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, 89 per cent will survive beyond the next five years.

Ovarian Cancer Australia chief executive Alison Amos said the difference in survival rates was the results of strong investment into breast cancer research that had raised the disease’s profile.

One barrier towards reducing survival rates is that there is no early detection test for ovarian cancer.

Unlike having a mammogram, women in the risk category of over-55 are only able to look for suspicious symptoms.

Melbourne teacher and mother of three Julie Morgan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after she complained to her doctor about abdominal pain.

After an ultrasound, her doctor suspected she had benign ovarian cysts and sent her to have a laparoscopy.

Two weeks later, she had a hysterectomy and six weeks of chemotherapy.

Until a more sophisticated detection test is developed, doctors rely on women like Ms Morgan to report persisting symptoms, including pain, bloating, urinating frequently and feeling full quickly.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-08/rise-in-obese-children-leads-to-damaging-outcomes/5876528

Children as young as two who are overweight or obese are at risk of developing chronic illnesses later in life such as heart disease or stroke, a new study has revealed.

The United States research, published in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension, found risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and lower levels of protective cholesterol, have been found in overweight children aged between two and nine.

The Heart Foundation’s WA chief executive Maurice Swanson said this was of major concern to Western Australia where he said it was known 25 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds were overweight or obese.

“…the longer a person has high blood pressure, the longer a person has high cholesterol levels, the longer a person is physically inactive, that long exposure substantially increases their risk of heart disease, of type two diabetes, of arthritis and of certain types of cancers.

“And this new study is showing that these risk factors are evident in even very young children if they’re overweight.”

Mr Swanson said if stronger preventative measures were not put in place, the future cost on the state’s public health system would be enormous.

Earlier this week, Berkeley in California became the first US city to vote in favour of a tax on sugary drinks driven by the country’s growing obesity crisis.

Mr Swanson said it was drastic measures like these that needed to be considered across the country to bring about meaningful change.

Mr Swanson said curbing promotions, educating parents and children and placing greater importance on working physical activity into routines were paramount to reducing the problem.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-09/sperm-donor-romance-couple-get-engaged/5877900

The back-to-front romance of IVF recipient Aminah Hart and her anonymous sperm donor, Scott Andersen, has moved up a notch with the announcement of their engagement.

The couple was holidaying in Thailand with their two-year-old daughter Leila when Australian Story featured their improbable love story last Monday night.

It told the story of Ms Hart’s decision to have IVF after losing two sons to a rare genetic disorder.

Legislative changes passed in Victoria in 2010 had opened access to IVF for single women, giving Ms Hart one last chance of becoming a mother to a healthy baby.

She was given three choices of anonymous sperm donors, with the information giving their vital statistics, physical qualities, medical history and hobbies.

She chose the one named Scott who described himself as “happy and healthy”.

Mr Andersen had agreed to recipients and offspring contacting him, but did not think it would happen for years.

After arranging a meeting Ms Hart and Mr Andersen subsequently fell in love.

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