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Breast Cancer ..
Experts have found a protein which could stop breast cancer spreading.

They discovered it can block cancer cells when it is active in the body.
But the cells are able to switch off protein EPHA2, which lets them then move through blood vessels into other organs.
The Institute of Cancer Research said, “The next step is to figure out how to keep the protein switched on, stopping breast cancer spreading.”

( Sun, 10.02.2016 )

Stress may increase the risk of getting Alzheimers. Stress hormone CRF causes more dementia-related protein to be released in the brain, a study in The EMBO journal found. Researchers in Florida are now looking at an antibody to block the hormone.
( Daily Mirror, 18.09.2015 )

They Work All The Hours God Sends ..
Only the bloody Tories could drive junior doctors in NHS hospitals to the brink of strike action. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt plans to impose a new seven-day rolling contract from next April, making the “normal working week” every day including Saturday and to run until 10pm every night except Sunday. Some 30,000 doctors, who stand to lose up to 30% of their income with the abolition of anti-social hours payments, have signed a petition calling on their union, the BMA, to organise a strike ballot. “Junior” is a misnomer, by the way. All 150,000 NHS doctors are “junior” until they become consultants, even if they’re highly experienced specialists in their 30s, like the man who treats my prostate problem. As an outpatient at Airedale General, I know how selfless these men and women are. They work all the hours God sends and deserve better treatment than this… from a millionaire politician who thinks nothing of charging the taxpayer for his Mandarin lessons.
( Paul Routledge, 25.09.2015 )

Almost 44,000 excess deaths last winter, 150% up on the previous year. Who says Jeremy Hunt’s attempt to end the NHS bed crisis isn’t working?
( Brian Reade, 28.11.2015 )

Compensation Paid By The NHS ..
The NHS believes it will need £28.3billion to cover damages for botched care over the next few years. The vast estimate, which has risen 70% in five years, comes as the NHS is trying to make savings of £30billion. It includes £12.3billion for outstanding claims and £16billion for claims expected over the next five years and beyond.

( Andrew Gregory and Winnie Agbonlahor, 23.01.2016 )

Dementia And Alzheimers ..
GPs diagnosed nearly 20% more patients with dementia after being promised a government bonus. The scheme, which paid £55 for each new case spotted, ran for six months between October 2014 and April 2015.
 It was meant to improve detection of the brain-wasting illness amid fears cases were being missed.
Dementia cases rose from 643 people per 100,000 population in April 2014 to 755 by December 2015. GPs got the cash for six months of that period. The scheme was scrapped by NHS England in April 2015. Alzheimer’s drugs prescription in England leapt from just over 500,000 in 2004 to three million in 2014.
( Pat Hagan, 20.01.2016 )

Smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and is now being blamed for 28 million cases worldwide. A study found it increased the risk of diabetes by 37%. For those who quit, it’s still 14% and for passive smokers a worrying 22%.
( Daily Mirror, 19.09.2015 )

Tasteless Fruit From Abroad ..
Having spotted blueberries from Chile, blackberries from Mexico and strawberries from Peru while scanning the supermarket for fruit, I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that more than half of our food is flown in from abroad. Why?

The only fruit we should be eating now is what’s in season here. A succulent apple, maybe some rosy rhubarb or a juicy pear. That’s about it at this time of year.
But who wants soggy, tasteless strawberries that go off in a day because they’re sprayed, frozen, gassed and flown thousands of miles before leaking their juices all over the supermarket fruit and veg section?

( Fiona Phillips, 09.01.2016 )

Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Take Paracetamol ..
Pregnant women who take paracetamol may increase the risk of their baby having asthma, say experts. A study involving 114,500 children found 5.7% had the disease at the age of three and 5.1% at seven. Researchers say they found a consistent link between children who had developed asthma aged three and mums who told them they had taken paracetamol during pregnancy. The risk appeared to be greater if an expectant mother had used paracetamol for more than one complaint.
The researchers, in Bristol and Norway, say they established the asthma was linked to the drug rather than any medical condition the mother may have been suffering when she took it. Previous studies have suggested a link between paracetamol use by pregnant mums and asthma.

( Sophie Goodchild, 10.02.2016 )

The Most Noble Idea Ever ..
The National Health Service owes its existence to the most noble idea that this country ever had – To care for the sick, the weak and the vulnerable in their time of need.
If the NHS is not there to care, then it is a meaningless shell, a cash cow for private medicine. And makes a mockery of the idealism that brought it into being.
The NHS does not exist to stuff the pockets of Conservative Party donors, or to enrich doctors, or to big up private health care.

Excessive Drug Prescriptions ..
News that the NHS failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of over 1,000 people with mental health conditions stirred up memories of my lovely dad, who died following inappropriate, excessive drug prescription, through neglect, on a mental health ward. I couldn’t sum it up better than former care minister, Norman Lamb, who said: “You end up with a sense these lives are regarded as slightly less important than others”.
( Fiona Phillips, 12.12.2015 )

Children Placed In Adult Mental Institutions ..
Children as young as five with mental health issues are being placed in adult institutions far from home. An adult mental health ward is no place for a child. It is an act of utter, disgraceful neglect and cruelty. Adult psychiatric wards and their facilities and staffing levels are often basic by fiscal necessity. They are populated by people with mental health problems who may be verbally abusive, physically threatening or simply distressing to be with.

We Didn’t Vaccinate Away Cholera Or Tuberculosis ..
We did not vaccinate away cholera. We didn’t vaccinate away tuberculosis.

There were sanitariums in the 20s and 30s, even the 40s, for tuberculosis.
We didn’t vaccinate that away so there’s a lot of things that people think of that we vaccinated away but we never did in this country. It was all actually changes and improvements in public health and in sanitation, water and nutrition.
( Dr Toni Bark )

A Moderate Amount Of Alcohol May Beat Alzheimer’s ..
Two pints of beer a day could slash Alzheimer’s deaths, a study claims.
Experts found a moderate alcohol intake cut the risk of dying early in newly diagnosed patients by 77% . Two small glasses of wine or four single whiskies could have the same effect. They tracked the amount 321 adults in the early stages of the incurable disease drank over three years in Denmark. The one in 20 who had a couple of beers or wine every day showed life-enhancing benefits. The one in ten who abstained and heavy drinkers were more likely to die earlier. Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark believe alcohol may protect brain cells from the disease.
( Nick McDermott, 11.12.2015 )

Hospitals Rationing Hearing Aids ..
Hospitals in the UK are rationing hearing aids in a wave of cruel NHS cuts.
Many trusts now offer just one hearing aid even if both ears need help.
It means many patients may have to go private to get the care they need.
Dr Roger Wicks, from the charity Action on Hearing Loss, said, “Hearing aids have been free on the NHS since its creation in 1948. It’s driven by the need to cut costs and has nothing to do with people’s health needs”. Peter Sydserff, president of the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists, said, “It is a classic short-term decision, and it is cruel. Imagine going for an eye test and being asked, ‘Which eye would you like a lens for?’”
( Danny Buckland, 25.10.2015 )

A Blood Test May Predict The Onset Of Arthritis ..
A blood test could soon predict who will get arthritis up to 16 years before it fully develops. It would allow hundreds of thousands of patients to get vital early treatment. It works by detecting a protein released into the blood when rheumatoid arthritis starts developing. A team at Oxford University’s Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology studied 2,000 patients and found it was present an average of seven years before arthritis set in. In some cases the figure was as high as 16 years. Rheumatoid arthritis is triggered when the immune system malfunctions and affects the joints. Stephen Simpson, of Arthritis UK, said, “This has great potential to help patients get the right treatment early to keep this painful and debilitating condition under control.”
( Nick McDermott, 11.12.2015 )

If there is a ‘health food’ section in the grocery store.
What does that make the rest of the food sold there?
( Dr Mark Hyman )

Care Provision Is A Multi-Billion Pound Business ..
For thousands of housebound elderly and disabled people, a visit by their carer is the highlight of the day. But all too often it’s all too brief. No more than 15 minutes, and sometimes as little as five, for the vital attention that makes all the difference to their lives. Dressing, washing, cooking, cleaning – the things most of us do as routine. Honestly, social care is in chaos. Councils are forced by Tory regulations to commission care from private companies, who bid low to drive out the NHS, and then slash terms and conditions for the care workers and ration the time they are allowed to take over a home visit. Despite all Cameron’s hot air about looking after the old and disabled, there is a £4billion gap between what is needed to provide a decent service and what the Treasury is prepared to spend. And with an ageing population, that gap is growing by a staggering £700million every year. That’s why so many councils have been forced to pay for only flying visits, which don’t allow for the “good, sensitive” caring that experts say is critical for the wellbeing of this vulnerable sector of society. Things can only get worse. Hospital chiefs complain they can’t discharge elderly patients because there is no social care for them at home. Care provision is a multi-billion pound business. It is also a shambles. Indeed, a scandal.

( Paul Routledge, 25.09.2015 )

Medicine is not health care. Food is health care.
Medicine is sick care.

Bananas Help To Combat Flu ..
Bananas could help fight flu and combat killer diseases such as hepatitis C and Aids, researchers have claimed. Scientists believe they can create a drug from a protein found in the fruit. BanLec locks on to sugars on the outside of cells, stopping deadly viruses from getting in. Its powers were revealed five years ago when researchers developed an anti-viral drug. But the treatment caused side-effects such as swelling. They have now made the drug safer. And trials have found it stops flu in mice. Experts hope the drug can be put in a nasal spray, but it could be ten years before it is available. US-based researcher Dr David Markovitz said, “What we’ve done is exciting. Better treatments are desperately needed.”
( Katie Hodge, 23.10.2015 )

All nutrients come from the sun or the soil.
( Michael Greger )

They Would Trust A Doctor Ahead Of A Johnson Any Day ..
Boris Johnson has accused the striking junior doctors of being militant money-grabbers. I asked one on Tuesday’s picket line how much he earns. It’s £28,000 basic, plus a 30% bonus for unsociable hours, and most weeks he worked another 10 hours unpaid.
The contract Jeremy Hunt wants to impose would make him work more unsociable hours for no extra pay, and would drive doctors away, affecting patient safety. Hence the strike. Johnson earns £600,000 a year for being a politician and writer. He doesn’t save lives, and didn’t have to train for years or go into massive debt, to get those jobs. He also hasn’t suddenly been told he needs to work long weekends for no extra pay.But imagine if he, and other public sector-hating Tory MPs and journalists, had? Would they meekly accept it? No. They’d walk away. The difference being, unlike the doctors, no one would miss them. Which is why two-thirds of the public back their strike. Because they’d trust a doctor ahead of a Johnson any day.

( Brian Reade, 16.01.2016 )

With the proper diet, no doctor is necessary.
With the improper diet, no doctor can help.
( Dr Gabriel Cousons )

Health Secretary Putting Patients At Risk ..
Transplant patients are refusing to have life-saving surgery at weekends because Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said they are more likely to die..
A top doctor specialising in liver operations criticised the Health Secretary over his repeated claims that under-staffing at hospitals over the weekend is causing 11,000 excess deaths every year. The figure, disputed by the British Medical Association, is key to the Government’s case for a seven-day NHS, which sparked a pay row with junior doctors. Dr Palak Trivedi has revealed several patients at Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital have already refused weekend transplants over fears for their health. Two declined operations despite being matched with a donor, meaning they risked missing their only chance of survival. Dr Trivedi said, “Mr Hunt says he wants to save lives but he is putting patients at risk by repeating questionable data. I pray that none of the patients who refuse weekend transplants ends up dying. The reality, Mr Hunt, in case you didn’t know, is that liver transplantation is a seven days a week, 365 days a year operation. There is always a consultant in theatre and there is the same level of case in recovery. Expert input is the same weekday or weekend, in theatre, on the ward and in intensive care.”
( Dan Warburton and Martyn Halle, 13.12.2015 )

A Sick Campaign By The Health Secretary ..
If the worst happens this weekend and you or a family member fall seriously ill, you can be confident you will almost certainly get excellent treatment. Yet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has created a climate of terror by warning that patients are more likely to die if they go to hospital at weekends. His misuse of statistics has been discredited by the British Medical Association and many doctors, yet the mud has stuck.
Mr Hunt has run this disgraceful, unprincipled campaign against doctors and nurses as part of his mission to undermine the NHS. We are used to politicians using scare tactics, but doing so to terrify sick people is plumbing new depths.
As anyone who has had to use a hospital at weekends knows, medical staff already work devotedly for seven days a week.
( Sunday Mirror, 13.12.2015 )

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