The Health News – 6 February 2017

Overview:
• Breakthroughs in cancer treatments mean more people are surviving. Adelaide-based researchers are conducting a research of cancer survivors to find out what they need and want.

• Patients with multiple sclerosis will soon have access to a new test which can tell them exactly what type of MS they have and how well their medications are working.

• The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) supports its members who refuse to move to the Perth Children’s Hospital until an independent group confirms lead contamination has been removed.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  6th of February 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-04/new-cancer-treatments-creating-tsunami-of-survivors/8241556

A cancer diagnosis today comes with a 67 per cent chance of surviving the next five years.

It is a huge leap on survival rates from 30 years ago, and it is largely down to growing medical knowledge and more effective drugs.

Breakthroughs in cancer drugs mean more people are surviving, but it is what happens after that [that] is often neglected.

To fill the current gap in knowledge, an Adelaide-based group is conducting research into the wellbeing of cancer survivors.

Am [An] estimated 50,000 people in South Australia are currently living with a cancer diagnosis.

Researchers from the University of South Australia nursing research centre will try to reach as many as they can to find out what they need and want.

Professor Marion Eckert said while there had been international studies into survivorship, the new research would be the first of its kind in Australia.

Some cancer survivors have to contend with PTSD and depression as well as ongoing chronic physical illnesses and sexual dysfunction.

Sometimes, survivors are not aware that their problems are related to their previous cancer diagnosis, because they have not had ongoing care.

Results of the University of South Australia’s research are expected in the next few years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-04/new-ms-blood-test-can-identify-types-of-multiple-sclerosis/8236336

Patients with multiple sclerosis will soon have access to a new test which can tell them exactly what type of MS they have and how well their medications are working.

At the moment, patients have to have an array of expensive tests to determine what kind of MS they have.

The study, published in Nature scientific reports, shows a blood test could greatly simplify and speed up this process, allowing doctors to adapt a patient’s treatment more accurately and rapidly.

Neuroscience Professor Gilles Guillemin from Macquarie University said the discovery was the culmination of 12 years’ hard work in the lab.

“We can tell you which sub-type of MS you have and if you respond to treatment,” he said.

At the moment, patients have to wait weeks on a medication to see if it is effective.

Matthew Miles, chief executive of MS Research Australia, said it was a “stunning breakthrough” for Australia and for Australian research.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-03/nurses-to-avoid-new-perth-childrens-hospital-over-lead/8239272

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) says it will support its members who refuse to move to the Perth Children’s Hospital until an independent third party confirms lead contamination has been eradicated.

The Government and the head contractor, John Holland, have been unable to agree on the source of the contamination.

John Holland said the water being delivered to the building was contaminated, but the WA Chief Public Health Officer disputed that.

The Government said it would not take ownership of the hospital until the lead problem was fixed.

ANF state secretary Mark Olson said proposals like filtering the water to make it safe were not enough, and he has demanded the source of the lead be found and eliminated completely.

He said 98 per cent of ANF members declared they would not work in the new hospital until the lead was removed.

Mr Olson said the Government was not providing clear answers or a clear resolution.

Health Minister John Day said the Government’s sole focus was the safe commissioning of the hospital and the safety of staff and patients.