The Health News Australia September 23 2017

Overview

  • Pap smear tests are being phased out in favour of an alternative known as HPV tests — which will start at a later age, with more than double the time in between examinations. Experts say that the movie is slated for early December and that it will improve early detection and save lives.
  • Iconic buildings around Australia’s capital cities will be lit up in teal today to mark World Alzheimer’s Day. The day will throw a spotlight on dementia and in Canberra the Telstra Tower, National Carillon and the National Museum of Australia will turn a light shade of blue in the evening to mark the event.
  • In an average year, influenza is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, killing about 3,000 people, more than twice the road toll. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Flu vaccinations save lives and money. It is in the public interest that they be provided free to children throughout the nation.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-09-20/what-you-need-to-know-about-pap-smears-being-phased-out/8753278

Pap smear tests are being phased out in favour of an alternative known as Human papillomavirus tests — which will start at a later age, with more than double the time in between examinations. Experts say that the move is slated for early December and that it will improve early detection and save lives. But before you start celebrating: the end of the Pap smear won’t mean the end of invasive examinations.Pap smears aren’t usually a highlight on women’s calendars because they involve a doctor inserting a speculum — a tool that looks like a duck’s bill — into the vagina to prise the walls apart. That enables them to access the cervix — the opening to the uterus — where they can take a sample of cells using a special brush. The procedure for having a HPV test will be the exact same.

But the changes from Pap smear to HPV screening do bring some good news: You’ll be tested every five years, instead of every two, you won’t start having tests until you’re twenty five years old, up from eighteen years old and self-collection using vaginal swabs will be an option for some women. Also on the downside, tests will now continue until you’re seventy four, instead of stopping when you turn sixty nine. HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus and it is the virus that causes about ninety nine percent of cervical cancer cases. The new test looks for the presence of the HPV virus rather than looking for precancerous changes in cells (that can occur because of the virus). It is a more accurate test and can detect potential problems earlier, experts said.And a new study has found DNA screening for HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer, is more effective than pap-smear-like methods for detecting pre-cancerous cells, even in women vaccinated against the virus.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/news/teal-touch-for-world-alzheimers-day/

Iconic buildings around Australia’s capital cities will be lit up in teal today to mark World Alzheimer’s Day. The day will throw a spotlight on dementia and in Canberra the Telstra Tower, National Carillon and the National Museum of Australia will turn a light shade of blue in the evening to mark the event. The National Museum of Australia will be hosting a morning tea for people living with dementia their families and carers on with performances by Canberrans living with dementia who make up the inspirational Alchemy Chorus and VIVACITY dance troupe.

In Brisbane, Story Bridge will also light up in teal. The day will also be acknowledged in Queensland at the two thousand seventeen Hand Heart Pocket Gala Evening which will showcase world-class opera stars and musicians to fundraise for families impacted by dementia.
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A recent survey conducted by Alzheimer’s Australia, Dementia and the Impact of Social Stigma, reports that over seventy percent of Australians admit they know very little about dementia; and almost half of the population do not realise that dementia is fatal or understand how to assist someone with dementia. The survey also found that people living with dementia and their carers overwhelmingly report feeling socially isolated and lonely. There are four hundred thirteen thousand Australians living with dementia. This figure is predicted to rise to one point one million by two thousand fifty six in the absence of a significant medical breakthrough.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/free-flu-shots-for-children-would-save-lives-and-money-20170920-gylbmf.html

Flu vaccinations save lives and money. It is in the public interest that they be provided free to children throughout the nation, perhaps even compulsorily. In an average year, influenza is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, killing about three thousand people, more than twice the road toll. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. This year a particularly virulent strain has tragically doubled, and even trebled in some areas, those affected by the illness.
This spike has led to a number of hospitals cancelling non-essential surgery to accommodate the needs of flu patients. It has put so much pressure on public hospitals that governments are paying private hospitals to treat the overflow. Tens of millions of dollars are being lost to the economy as people succumb to the virus, or miss work to care for stricken children and other family members.

Annual flu shots are effective. They do not guarantee protection, given the ready ability of flu strains to mutate, but they are considered far better than merely hoping to avoid infection. They cost eleven dollars, but are free to people aged sixty five or more, most Indigenous people, pregnant women and the chronically ill. Children are vulnerable, as the terrible death of an eight-year-old girl in Melbourne showed this week, and are also carriers of the virus. Immunising children not only protects them, but the rest of the community – particularly the elderly and those with illnesses that make them highly vulnerable to infection.
….
Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says the federal government should examine making the flu shot free for all children, which would significantly increase the number of shots provided. Given the number of hospital admissions, let alone the lost productivity elsewhere, the community would save money. So far this year, more than one hundred sixty thousand people have contracted the illness, up from less than half of that in the same period in two thousand sixteen.

 

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