The Health News Australia April 18 2018

  • According to experts, women who want to get pregnant need to lose weight first, or they risk their future child’s health. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found obesity and poor nutrition were “rife” among women of childbearing age, and efforts to curb diet during pregnancy were too little, too late. The international study included data on women aged from 18 to 42. Statistics from Australia showed only 10% of Australian women ate what they should.
  • Patients with a form of Hodgkin lymphoma will have the cost of a breakthrough drug slashed by thousands from next month. Keytruda would have cost $200,000 for each course of treatment but the federal government’s move to list it on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme means patients won’t pay more than $39.50 a script.
  • Teaching school children about pelvic pain will form part of a proposed national plan to tackle endometriosis, the debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of women. The health minister, Greg Hunt, will push the states and territories to commit to the plan, which was discussed at the recent Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney. Studies suggest endometriosis affects at least 1 in 10 women of reproductive age.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-17/women-need-to-lose-weight-to-ensure-health-pregnancy-study-finds/9660628

According to experts, women who want to get pregnant need to lose weight first, or they risk their future child’s health. A study published in The Lancet medical journal found obesity and poor nutrition were “rife” among women of childbearing age, and efforts to curb diet during pregnancy were too little, too late. The international study included data on women aged from eighteen to forty two. Statistics from Australia showed only ten percent of Australian women ate what they should.

The study that poor nutrition and obesity are rife among women of reproductive age, and differences between high-income and low-income countries have become less distinct, with typical diets falling far short of nutritional recommendations in both settings and especially among adolescents. One of the report’s authors, Gita Mishra from the Women’s Health Australia Study, said while women quit smoking and stopped drinking in the lead-up to falling pregnant, few addressed their weight. She said poor nutrition and weight issues risked a more difficult pregnancy and poorer birth outcomes.
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The Lancet paper titled Before the Beginning called for a sharper focus on preconception to address the problem.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/04/15/05/43/hodgkin-s-patients-to-get-keytruda-on-pbs

Patients with a form of Hodgkin lymphoma will have the cost of a breakthrough drug slashed by thousands from next month. Keytruda would have cost two hundred thousand dollars for each course of treatment but the federal government’s move to list it on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme means patients won’t pay more than thirty nine dollars and fifty cents a script. Concession patients will pay six dollars and forty cents. The immunotherapy drug helps the body use its own immune system to fight the cancer. It’s estimated the change will help more than one hundred twenty Australians a year.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said that a drug that was out of the reach of virtually every Australian will now be in the reach of virtually every Australian.  The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre’s Doctor Michael Dickinson says the listing will help patients whose cancer remains or has spread despite existing treatments.
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The drug has been available on the PBS for advanced melanoma but not blood cancers.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/13/students-could-learn-about-endometriosis-as-part-of-sex-education

Teaching school children about pelvic pain will form part of a proposed national plan to tackle endometriosis, the debilitating condition that affects hundreds of thousands of women. The health minister, Greg Hunt, will push the states and territories to commit to the plan, which was discussed at the recent Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney. The draft plan is being developed in collaboration with a coalition of endometriosis advocacy and research organisations.

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Hunt will in particular be asking the states to incorporate information about pelvic pain, menstruation and endometriosis into health and sex education in schools, to aid earlier diagnosis. In December, Hunt issued a national apology to the estimated seven hundred thousand Australian women and teenagers suffering from endometriosis, a progressive, chronic condition where cells similar to those that line the uterus grow in other parts of the body.
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Studies suggest endometriosis affects at least one in ten women of reproductive age, but awareness of the condition is low among health professionals and the public, and research is scarce, leaving women receiving useless or harmful surgeries or treatments that can affect their quality of life and health.

There is an average eight- to nine-year diagnostic delay, and treatment options are limited. There is no cure. Common symptoms include severe period pain, heavy bleeding, bladder and bowel problems, and compromised fertility. These symptoms often lead to mental health problems, relationship difficulties and workplace issues.

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