Connect with us

Health

Breast cancer patients are being denied ‘life-changing’ reconstructive surgery, research shows

1 min read

Breast cancer patients are being denied 'life-changing' reconstructive surgery, research shows

Baroness Morgan said: “With the NHS facing unprecedented pressures, their introduction despite clear clinical advice begs the question whether they are being driven by a desire to reduce costs. For those that want it, reconstruction must not be dismissed as a cosmetic or dispensable part of breast cancer treatment.

“If we are to achieve the Government’s ambition of world-class NHS cancer care, all patients must be fully involved and supported in making decisions about their treatment – with their doctors, at their own pace. We hope these new guidelines will be practice-changing, ensuring all patients have access to the services they need and enabling more to live well beyond breast cancer.”

Joe O’Donoghue, Member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said: “It is unacceptable for some women to not be given access to essential reconstructive or balancing surgery purely because of where they live.

“We know that this surgery is a vital part of breast cancer treatment, recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and internationally as beneficial to women’s psychological recovery and wellbeing.”

It is estimated that around 11,500 of the 42,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year in England undergo a mastectomy  – with around 2,400 (21 per cent) of these patients opting to have immediate breast reconstruction, and around 1,100 (10 per cent) having delayed reconstruction.

For most, reconstruction is a process requiring multiple procedures, depending on the patient and method chosen.  There are two main types of reconstruction: patients can have an implant inserted, or they can have a breast shape recreated using tissue from another part of their body, usually the back or abdomen.

Where the reconstructed breast may not match a patient’s unaffected breast, clinical guidelines recommend that they are also offered ‘balancing surgery’ to increase, decrease or change the shape of their remaining breast to help them achieve symmetry.

Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Care, said: “These appalling, short-sighted decisions are denying women with breast cancer a crucial step to help them move on and heal after what can be a life-changing experience.

“Women tell us every day that the long-term impact of surgery to remove the cancer is more than physical; their self-esteem can be left in tatters. Breast reconstruction is, for many, an essential part of living life with confidence after breast cancer – so we cannot and must not allow it to be pushed out of their reach.”

Original article

Health

Anthony Head to play Robin Fairbrother in Radio 4 soap

1 min read

Anthony Head to play Robin Fairbrother in Radio 4 soap

It was an affair that sent ripples through The Archers – young Elizabeth Archer falling for Robin Fairbrother, a dashing older man, only to have her heart broken when she discovered that he was married.

More than 30 years on, the couple could rekindle their romance after the BBC announced that Robin is making a return, now played by Anthony Head.

Long-time fans of The Archers will recall the original 1987 storyline, which culminated in Elizabeth angrily confronting Robin and pouring a glass of wine over him.

Many listeners will remember the character, but the BBC say Robin was a silent character throughout, referred to only in the third person, and this will be the first time he has been voiced.

Radio 4 paved the way for his return by introducing his sons, Toby and Rex, in 2015.

Head, a heart-throb since his days in the Nescafe Gold Blend adverts, will join the soap for a limited period from July 29.

Asked if his character had a prospect of romance, he replied: “That would be quick work, wouldn’t it?”

Head described Robin as “a bit of a smooth-talker. I find it fascinating that he’s been around for some time but he’s never been heard before. He’s a wine merchant. He is very affable to everyone, as affable as he possibly can be.”

Elizabeth is now a widow, following the death of her husband, Nigel Pargetter. The BBC recently teased: “Could there be room for someone else in Elizabeth’s life as she enters her sixth decade?”

It is unusual for The Archers to cast well-known actors. Head said: “When you’re asked to do something that is a classic British bastion, you say yes. I don’t listen constantly so I don’t know all the storylines. But when I’m mucking out the donkeys, I listen to The Archers and Desert Island Discs.

“It’s such lovely listening, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly what’s going on.”

On whether Robin would cause trouble in Ambridge, Head said: “Not as far as he is concerned.”

Original article

Continue Reading

Health

First smallpox treatment approved amid fears virus could become “weaponised”

1 min read

First smallpox treatment approved amid fears virus could become "weaponised"

Smallpox – a contagious and often fatal disease responsible for the deaths of 300 million people in the 20th century alone – was declared completely eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1980 after a mass vaccination drive.

Although the disease is no longer naturally transmitted between people, experts believe that the virus still remains a global health security threat.

Although today, only two stores of the disease are known to exist –  in research laboratories in Russia and the US –   stocks of the virus unknown to experts could still be out there.

In 2014, six  forgotten vials of the virus were found in a National Institute of Health storeroom in Maryland.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also stated that there is a “credible concern” that some countries have in the past weaponised the smallpox virus,  with these bioweapons possibly falling into the hands of terrorists or criminals.

Professor David R. Harper,  a senior fellow at Chatham House who was not involved in the research, said it is impossible for governments and security experts to be aware of all existing stocks of the virus – which could relatively easily be turned into a weapon. “It’s impossible to police that sort of thing,” he said. 

Another concern for experts is that terrorists could rebuild a synthetic version of the virus using gene editing techniques. But given the complexity of this Prof. Harper believes this is a less likely scenario. 

Fears that the virus could deliberately or unwittingly be released prompted the US government to fund the current research which began 15 years ago. 

TPOXX works by containing the virus in an infected cell before it can spread to the rest of the body, giving the body’s immune system time to fight off the disease.

The US government aims to have a vaccine for every person in the country to prevent the spread of smallpox in the event of an outbreak and is currently stockpiling 2 million treatment courses of TPOXX.

Original article

Continue Reading

Health

We can treat Aids with medicine – but only love will beat its insidious stigma

1 min read

We can treat Aids with medicine – but only love will beat its insidious stigma

Aids activism has always been about connecting with people on the margins. Our movement is defined by uplifting those cast aside by society: reaching out with love, connecting them to a supportive community, and helping them get the care they need. That is the spirit in which thousands of researchers and activists, myself included, will attend the 22nd annual International Aids Conference in Amsterdam next week.

The international community has made remarkable progress in the fight against Aids, in no small part thanks to this gathering. The last two decades have seen the number of people on treatment for HIV/Aids increase fiftyfold. Dramatic medical advances mean that people living with HIV lead full, joyous lives. A diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. Such progress has been made not only thanks to scientific innovations, but to efforts around the world to fight stigma and social isolation with compassion, dignity, and love.

I’ve seen this progress first hand in my visits to South Africa. When I first visited Durban in 2005, I met with a local LGBT support group in relative secret, because no one wanted to be seen or photographed with me in my capacity as an Aids activist. They couldn’t risk revealing their HIV status or sexual orientation to the broader community or even to their own families.

This was sadly the case for one lovely young man, Leslie Jackson, who was ostracised by practically his entire family simply for being gay. But thanks in part to extensive training of healthcare workers, and support to the LGBT community through a programme funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation, by the time Leslie joined me and David at the Gateway Health Clinic in Durban in 2016, he proudly explained his work as a peer educator to not only clinic staff but to the world’s media as well.

The progress is undeniable, yet our work is far from over. There were 1.87 million new infections in 2016 – and nearly half of people living with HIV that year did not have access to treatment. Medicines may reduce viral loads, but they cannot eliminate the insidious stigma still attached to the disease. And we still face enormous challenges in testing and treating people in remote parts of the world.

Original article

Continue Reading

Recently Posted

You may also like

Anthony Head to play Robin Fairbrother in Radio 4 soap Anthony Head to play Robin Fairbrother in Radio 4 soap
Health2 hours ago

Anthony Head to play Robin Fairbrother in Radio 4 soap

1 min read It was an affair that sent ripples through The Archers – young Elizabeth Archer falling for Robin...

Health1 day ago

First smallpox treatment approved amid fears virus could become “weaponised”

1 min read Smallpox – a contagious and often fatal disease responsible for the deaths of 300 million people in...

We can treat Aids with medicine – but only love will beat its insidious stigma We can treat Aids with medicine – but only love will beat its insidious stigma
Health2 days ago

We can treat Aids with medicine – but only love will beat its insidious stigma

1 min read Aids activism has always been about connecting with people on the margins. Our movement is defined by...

Conflict and breakdown in law and order drive scourge of modern slavery Conflict and breakdown in law and order drive scourge of modern slavery
Health2 days ago

Conflict and breakdown in law and order drive scourge of modern slavery

1 min read The UK has 2.1 slaves for every 1,000 people – around 136,000 in total. This figure is...

HIV and Aids in Africa has a new adversary – God and big pharma HIV and Aids in Africa has a new adversary – God and big pharma
Health3 days ago

HIV and Aids in Africa has a new adversary – God and big pharma

2 min read In Britain and much of the west you hardly hear of Aids anymore, only HIV, the fluid-borne...

Health3 days ago

EastEnders and Coronation Street ‘driving the decline of TV audiences’

1 min read Britain is falling out of love with soap operas, as viewers abandon the shows that once had...

Long-lost cache of British explorer discovered buried in Australian outback by former F1 driver Long-lost cache of British explorer discovered buried in Australian outback by former F1 driver
Health3 days ago

Long-lost cache of British explorer discovered buried in Australian outback by former F1 driver

2 min read Perkins, 68, decided to make another attempt and began scouring the records of the expedition at the...

Health3 days ago

Buy more vegetables instead of omega-3 supplements to improve heart health, report says 

1 min read The new research looked specifically at evidence of their impact on rates of heart disease, stroke and...

Health3 days ago

Londoners least liberal on homosexuality and pre-marital sex

1 min read London is known as a bastion of liberal values.  But by some measures the capital city is...

Scientists develop early warning system to predict dengue outbreak Scientists develop early warning system to predict dengue outbreak
Health4 days ago

Scientists develop early warning system to predict dengue outbreak

1 min read During periods of drought people tend to store water in containers, providing an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes,...

Trending