The Health News – 24 November 2016

Overview:
• It’s estimated that 1,480 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2016, and 1,040 will die. Jane Hill, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia said it can be difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer because the symptoms are ones that many women will have from time to time, and they are often symptoms of less serious and more common health problems.

• The Grattan Institute has recommended a sugar sweetened beverage tax to address obesity rates, which have climbed in recent decades. The food industry, sugar cane growers, sugar millers and farmers have opposed proposals for sugar taxes, saying there was no evidence they improve health.

• As part of a project called Words for Wellbeing, hailed as an Australian-first, Queensland health professionals will be prescribing books, websites and apps along with medicines.The project was designed by the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service (WMHHS), in the Ipswich region, west of Brisbane.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  24th of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/ovarian-cancer-symptoms-every-woman-needs-to-know/7541906

As is the case with any condition that hides itself deep inside your body, it can be hard to detect and identify early signs ovarian cancer.

This means ovarian cancer has often advanced and spread to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed.

It’s estimated that 1,480 women will be diagnosed with the disease in 2016, and 1,040 will die.

But there are early symptoms, it’s just many women miss them.

Why? Because they are the kinds of symptoms most women experience every now and then, says Jane Hill, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia.

“It can be difficult to diagnose ovarian cancer because the symptoms are ones that many women will have from time to time, and they are often symptoms of less serious and more common health problems,” she said.

Research shows that many women diagnosed with ovarian cancer had experienced some of the following:

  • Persistent pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling and/or bloating
  • Increased urgency and frequency of urination, or incontinence
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full after eating a small amount of food.

“If you have any of these symptoms, they are new for you and you have experienced them multiple times during a four-week period, go to your GP,” Ms Hill said.

Ovarian Cancer Australia has created a symptom diary you can download to help you track your symptoms if you are concerned.

Other symptoms Ms Hill says to look out for include:

  • Changes in your bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  • Bleeding in-between periods or after menopause
  • Back pain
  • Indigestion or nausea
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Pain during intercourse.

“It is important to remember that most women with these symptoms will not have ovarian cancer. Your doctor should first rule out more common causes of these symptoms, but if there is no clear reason for your symptoms, your doctor needs to consider the possibility of ovarian cancer,” she said.

“And if you still have concerns after seeing your doctor, it is OK to see someone else.

“If you are not comfortable with your doctor’s diagnosis or you are still concerned about unexplained persistent symptoms, you should seek a second opinion.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-23/sugar-tax-‘could-cut-soft-drink-consumption-by-15-per-cent’/8048974

A tax on sugar could cut soft drink consumption by 15 per cent and raise $500 million for the budget, recently released economic modelling shows.

The Grattan Institute has recommended a sugar sweetened beverage tax to address obesity rates, which have climbed in recent decades.

It has calculated obesity costs taxpayers $5.3 billion annually, with one in three Australians now classed as obese.

They are proposing a tax of 40 cents per 100 grams of sugar, which would lift the price of a two-litre bottle of soft drink by about 80 cents.

Stephen Duckett, director of the Institute’s health program, said soft drinks were not solely responsible for the obesity problem, but they should be targeted because they have no nutritional value and children are big consumers.

The food industry, sugar cane growers, sugar millers and farmers have opposed proposals for sugar taxes, saying there was no evidence they improve health.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-23/wellbeing-program-hopes-to-kill-off-dr-google-in-queensland/8048126

Queensland health professionals concerned about people relying on questionable physical and mental health information they have dug up on the internet have banded together to kill off “Dr Google”.

As part of a project called Words for Wellbeing, hailed as an Australian-first, they will be prescrib[ing] books, websites and apps along with medicines.

The project was designed by the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service (WMHHS), in the Ipswich region, west of Brisbane.

Principal engagement adviser Bernadette Praske said research showed self-help resources worked best with the guidance of a health professional.

Ms Praske said the books, websites and apps had been chosen by local doctors and mental health professionals, but were written in everyday, accessible language.

Ms Praske said similar projects operated in parts of Western Australia, New South Wales and the UK, but they only focussed on mental health resources.

She said this was the first program to “branch out” and also include physical health resources.

The resources are available through the region’s local council websites and libraries.

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