The Health News – 3 March 2017

Overview:
• You can know Liberal MP Chris Crewther for a long time without realising he lives with Tourette Syndrome.

• It is hoped studying the tumours of men from a Tasmanian family with 32 cases of prostate cancer in the past two generations will save lives.

• The consumer watchdog has fired a warning shot at the hearing aid industry, with a new report raising concerns about patients being ripped off.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  3rd of March 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-02/liberal-mp-chris-crewther-living-with-tourettes/8315632

You can know Liberal MP Chris Crewther for a long time without realising he lives with Tourette Syndrome.

Do not expect to see him jerking and swearing uncontrollably in Question Time.

“I think there’s a bit of a lack of awareness out there of what Tourette’s is and that’s sometimes I think because of some of the media or Hollywood portrayal of being only swearing,” Mr Crewther told Lateline.

“I can occasionally have eye-blinking, twitching of the mouth, head shaking or sniffing or doing mouth noises or occasionally [moving my] shoulders, but mine is on the more mild end.

“It tends to come out more when I’m more stressed.”

Mr Crewther had grown up simply accepting that he had a few strange “habits”.

At school that resulted in bullying.

“My symptoms began between grades one to three,” he said.

“I ussd to get the sort of things, ‘Blinky Chris, his eyes go like this’.”

He revealed his condition in a speech to Parliament late last year, and the Member for Dunkley is now the patron for the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia.

“In this role I felt I had a responsibility, particularly for young kids out there who may have Tourette’s or may not yet be diagnosed, to be an example for them and also to raise awareness of the issue,” he said.

Mr Crewther’s office staff figured out their boss had TS a while before he told them.

Mr Hersey said they advised their boss he should go public with his condition.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-01/prostate-cancer-research-to-study-tasmanian-gene-pool/8315894

It is hoped studying the tumours of men from a Tasmanian family with 32 cases of prostate cancer in the past two generations will save lives.

The pilot study will examine the tumours to see if they have a genetic disruption to chromosome seven — a mutation which causes aggressive prostate cancer — and if the disruption is inherited.

Liesel FitzGerald of the Menzies Institute said the ground-breaking research would try to establish why the mutation occurred.

Dr FitzGerald, who lost her own father to cancer when she was a teenager, has been studying prostate cancer for more than a decade and is the lead researcher for the Menzies team.

About 500 men in Tasmania each year are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 100 of them die.

Dr FitzGerald said the island state was the perfect place to study genetic diseases because of its small gene pool.

The data from the Menzies’ team’s pilot study will inform a larger study of 52 families with a history of hereditary prostate cancer.

The pilot project is being made possible due to a $23,000 grant from the Royal Hobart Hospital Foundation.

The Foundation has raised $650,000 in private donations to fund 13 projects in 2017.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-02/consumer-watchdog-puts-hearing-aid-industry-on-notice/8319738

The consumer watchdog has fired a warning shot at the hearing aid industry, with a new report raising concerns about patients being ripped off.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report shows some sales are being driven by commissions rather than the needs of customers.

“Consumers were telling us that they were being sold products that were expensive and that they ultimately may not have needed,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.

“These products can be very expensive, they range up to $15,000 for a pair of hearing aids.”

She said some clinics appeared to be inflating prices, which was partly being driven by commissions of up to 15 per cent which were not disclosed to patients.

The ACCC has been consulting with the top 10 hearing clinic providers and also conducted a survey for consumers and clinicians.

Louise Collingridge from Independent Audiologists Australia said abolishing commissions was a good idea.

But she said some young audiologists feel they have to accept contracts that work to commissions.

Audiology Australia CEO Tony Coles said the industry took the ACCC’s concerns “very seriously”.

“If the clinician is not a member of Audiology Australia, we can help them to find another organisation or body that can help them.”

The ACCC has released its report to mark World Hearing Day and is encouraging consumers and clinicians to contact its centre on 1300 302 502 if they have concerns.