The Health News – 25 March 2016

Overview:
• Two Queensland men are toasting the success of Townsville radiation oncologist Doctor Peter Fon this week, and drinking to their own good health. Both underwent low-dose brachytherapy under Dr Fon to treat their prostate cancer.

• New research shows Australians are eating almost twice the daily recommended amount of salt — despite the fact that most think they are being sensible in their salt intake.

• The head of Tasmania’s health service will spend a week at the Royal Hobart Hospital after two women had to have their miscarriages in chairs due to bed shortages.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-24/prostate-cancer-patients-toast-brachytherapy-team/7274534

Two Queensland men are toasting the success of Townsville radiation oncologist Doctor Peter Fon this week, and drinking to their own good health.

Both underwent low-dose brachytherapy under Dr Fon to treat their prostate cancer.

David Figg was Dr Fon’s first patient ten years ago while Donald Patterson, who had his treatment last week, was Dr Fon’s 400th patient.

“Four hundred is a major milestone,” Dr Fon said, while attributing the success to the many doctors involved in the treatment program.

Brachytherapy is a treatment whereby tiny, seed-like, radioactive pellets are inserted into, or very near, cancerous prostate tissue so that a high dose of radiation can be administered locally.

Dr Fon said the procedure was minimally invasive and reduced the likelihood of incontinence or impotence following treatment.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with 17,250 projected new cases diagnosed in 2015 and about 3,440 men dying of the disease each year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-24/reducing-salt-intake-could-save-thousands-of-lives-each-year/7274140

New research shows Australians are eating almost twice the daily recommended amount of salt — despite the fact that most think they are being sensible in their salt intake.

VicHealth and Deakin University came up with an innovative way to measure the difference between how much salt people thought they ate and how much they actually consumed.

The researchers said the findings underline the need for food companies to be more transparent about the amount of “hidden salt” in a lot of processed food.

They estimated as many as 800 lives per year in Victoria alone could be saved if …people reduce their salt intake to recommended levels.

VicHealth programs executive manager Dr Bruce Bolam told ABC NewsRadio: “Unfortunately while 80 per cent of people recognise that as a population we eat too much salt, only a third of people believe that they personally were eating too much salt.”

The research was conducted with 2,400 Victorian adults. Most of the results were from an online survey, but the researchers also wanted to gather further information from face-to-face interviews and urine samples.

He said the findings were consistent with the best data available in Australia.

“Broadly we eat between 8 and 10 grams of salt every day and that’s about twice the WHO level which is recommended — and that’s right the way across the population here in Victoria and indeed Australia,” he said.

“About 75 per cent of our salt intake comes from processed foods — often in things that people wouldn’t expect for example bread, cereals, processed meats, pizza … that’s actually what’s driving the majority of salt intake in Australia and that’s why food reformulation is such an important issue for us.”

Dr Bolam said food companies in the UK had taken steps to reduce salt in their products which was saving tens of thousands of lives every year through a “health by stealth approach”.

He said Australian food companies needed to follow the UK and be more transparent about “hidden salt” in processed foods.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-24/more-than-money-extra-jobs-needed-to-fix-tasmania-health-system/7273214

The head of Tasmania’s health service will spend a week at the Royal Hobart Hospital after two women had to have their miscarriages in chairs due to bed shortages.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson has ordered the move in an effort to find out why the emergency department is under so much pressure.

Dr David Alcorn took up the new Launceston-based position of chief executive of the Tasmanian Health Service in February.

On Wednesday, details about the first miscarriage – which occurred on Monday – came to light.

Mr Ferguson was then asked … about a second case on the same day.

The Minister expected Dr Alcorn to provide advice on short-term solutions that could be implemented immediately to reduce waiting times in emergency.

Elective surgeries have also been delayed over the Easter long weekend, amid concerns there would be a shortage of beds.

Mr Ferguson said health staff were not to blame for its shortfalls.

Mr Ferguson said emergency departments were facing “unprecedented demand”.

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!