HEALTH IN BRIEF

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Help­ing can­cer sur­vivors set health goals

WITH the New Year un­der way, Can­cer Coun­cil NSW is en­cour­ag­ing can­cer sur­vivors from Western NSW to join its free Healthy Liv­ing af­ter Can­cer pro­gram to get ac­tive, eat well and feel bet­ter af­ter can­cer. Get­ting back to a healthy life­style af­ter can­cer is one of the most im­por­tant things sur­vivors can do for their health, re­duc­ing the chance of the dis­ease re­cur­ring, and boost­ing their over­all well-be­ing. Healthy Liv­ing af­ter Can­cer is a free tele­phone health coach­ing pro­gram for any adults who have been treated for can­cer, ei­ther re­cently or in the past. The pro­gram is easy to fol­low and will equip par­tic­i­pants with their own health coach, who will call them over a six month pe­riod to set, and help them reach, their phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and healthy eat­ing goals. Healthy Liv­ing af­ter Can­cer is avail­able to any adult who has com­pleted treat­ment for any type of can­cer, at any time. Those tak­ing part will re­ceive 12 tele­phone coach­ing calls over six months from a Can­cer Coun­cil 13 11 20 Nurse or In­for­ma­tion and Sup­port Con­sul­tant, along with a pro­gram work­book. The pro­gram will fo­cus on phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, healthy eat­ing and weight man­age­ment.

ACUPUNC­TURE ‘no help’ for hot flushes

TRA­DI­TIONAL Chi­nese acupunc­ture is no bet­ter than a fake ver­sion for treat­ing menopause symp­toms, says a new study. But af­ter eight weeks of treat­ment, both led to a 40 per cent im­prove­ment in the sever­ity and fre­quency of hot flushes which was sus­tained six months later.the Univer­sity of Mel­bourne study in­volved 327 Aus­tralian women aged over 40 who had at least seven mod­er­ate hot flushes a day.half were given 10 ses­sions of stan­dard Chi­nese medicine acupunc­ture where thin nee­dles are in­serted into the body at spe­cific points. The oth­ers had their skin stim­u­lated with blunt-tipped nee­dles, which has A milder ef­fect with­out pen­e­trat­ing the skin.lead au­thor Dr Carolyn Ee said both groups may have im­proved due to the placebo ef­fect or be­cause at­tend­ing a clinic to talk about symp­toms could help.she also noted hot flushes tend to im­prove spon­ta­neously with time. “This was a large and rig­or­ous study and we are con­fi­dent there is no ad­di­tional ben­e­fit from in­sert­ing nee­dles com­pared with stim­u­la­tion from pres­sur­ing the blunt nee­dles with­out skin pen­e­tra­tion for hot flushes. “IF women want to con­sider hav­ing acupunc­ture for hot flushes, they should know that al­though pre­vi­ous stud­ies show it is bet­ter than do­ing noth­ing, our study demon­strates that needling does not ap­pear to make a dif­fer­ence.”she said while acupunc­ture is a rel­a­tively safe treat­ment and found to be ef­fec­tive for chronic pain, women should also dis­cuss other treat­ment op­tions for their hot flushes with their doc­tor. AAP mss/smw

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