The Health News Australia August 19 2017

Overview

  • It’s a criminal act for women to have an abortion in the states of Queensland and New South Wales. One in 25 women has to travel interstate for a termination. Federal Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has made the case for Australia to address its “unfinished business on reproductive health” while delivering the Emily’s List oration in Canberra on Wednesday night.
  • Australian researchers say that a novel treatment which can help children overcome peanut allergies can provide relief from reactions for up to four years. Aside from peanuts, according to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the most common allergy triggers are egg, cow’s milk, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat.
  • Australia’s peak independent cancer authority, the Cancer Council, has endorsed a statement calling for a plan to stop patients being harmed by the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of diseases.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/08/16/abortion-reform-unfinished-business

Queensland and New South Wales may have female state leaders, but it’s still a jailable offence for women to have an abortion in those states. Federal Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has made the case for Australia to address its “unfinished business on reproductive health” while delivering the Emily’s List oration in Canberra on Wednesday night. She said that having an abortion is a criminal act in both Queensland and New South Wales – that means it’s a crime for half the women in Australia. A Brisbane couple were prosecuted for purchasing abortion drugs in two thousand ten and last month a woman was prosecuted in New South Wales.

One in twenty five women has to travel interstate for a termination. The deputy leader also raised concerns about “shockingly common” incidents involving reproductive coercion as part of domestic violence. She said that it happens when your partner controls or sabotages your birth control; when they make threats or are violent if you insist on using a condom.

She acknowledged having a child creates a legal tie between victim and abuser that can last a lifetime and makes it far harder to leave a violent relationship. Existing sex education programs in schools were failing and girls paid a higher price.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-17/new-peanut-allergy-treatment-longlasting-study-says/88

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A novel treatment which can help children overcome peanut allergies can provide relief from reactions for up to four years, Australian researchers say. Professor Mimi Tang, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, developed a treatment where kids with peanut allergies were given a probiotic called lactobacillus rhamnosus, with a peanut protein, once a day for eighteen months. They found one month after stopping treatment, more than eighty percent of children who received the protein and probiotic could tolerate peanuts without any allergic symptoms at the end of the trial. The same children were then tested four years later.

Professor Tang said seventy per cent of the children were still able to eat peanuts without allergic reactions. She said that these findings suggest our treatment is effective in inducing long-term tolerance, up to four years after completing treatment and is safe. Aside from peanuts, the most common allergy triggers are egg, cow’s milk, tree nuts, seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat. The majority of food allergies in children are not severe, and may be “outgrown” with time. But some, particularly peanut, tree nut, seed and seafood tend to be lifelong allergies.

The study was funded by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Australian Food Allergy Foundation.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/17/patients-suffering-from-too-much-medicine-peak-health-bodies-say

Australia’s peak independent cancer authority, the Cancer Council, has endorsed a statement calling for a plan to stop patients being harmed by the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of diseases. The statement developed by doctors and researchers was published on Thursday morning and described growing evidence and concern about the problem of too much medicine, even for cancer, and calls for a national plan to address the issue.

The statement was endorsed by the Consumer Health Forum, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. But the endorsement by the Cancer Council Australia is significant, according to Doctor Ray Moynihan a senior researcher at Bond University’s faculty of health sciences and medicine.To address overdiagnosis, more research is needed to help better diagnose those cancers that will progress and to tailor treatments accordingly. For example, millions of patients given flu drugs with little or no benefit according to the study.

There is also growing concern about benign breast cancers being treated unnecessarily. A Cochrane review of screening mammography placed overdiagnosis of breast cancer at about thirty percent. The review found that: “For every two thousand women invited for screening throughout ten years, one will have her life prolonged. In addition, ten healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be diagnosed as breast cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily.” This did not mean that screening should stop, rather that women should be fully informed of all their treatment options and the associated risks and benefits.

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