Checkup Medical column for July 7

A weekly round-up of news affecting your health.



Girls and women who survive cancer are more than a third less likely to fall pregnant, British researchers have found.

A study of girls and women aged under 39 and who were diagnosed with cancer in Scotland between 1981 and 2012 were found to be 38 per cent less likely to conceive than women in the general population.

“The major impact on pregnancy after some common cancers highlights the need for enhanced strategies to preserve fertility in girls and young women,” Professor Richard Anderson from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh said.

The study looked at 23,201 female cancer survivors and found 6627 pregnancies among them.

The researchers said nearly 11,000 pregnancies would have been expected in a comparable matched control group from the general population.

Cancer treatments are known to affect fertility for several reasons, with some chemotherapy causing damage to the ovary, while radiotherapy can affect the ovary, uterus and potentially parts of the brain controlling reproduction.

Prof Anderson presented the results of the study, which have not been published, at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Geneva this week.


The long-running medical mystery about why some people develop recurring itchy hives for no apparent reason could soon be solved.

Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital have discovered how the condition, known as chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), develops and begun working on a treatment.

Using samples from CSU patients they found in most developed itchy hives when a certain type of white blood cells known as T cells reacted to a specific protein found in skin cells.

The researchers have begun work on new studies to investigate whether the T cells that trigger CSU can be “switched off” using new targeted treatments.

“People with CSU develop recurring hives for periods of at least six weeks – and often for many years – but with no apparent trigger,” said Dr Priscilla Auyeung, a clinical immunologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“Our patients often think that they’re allergic to their washing powder, soap or shampoo, and sometimes even wonder if it is all in their mind.”


A new campaign has been launched to encourage parents to get rid of millions of out-of-date medicines sitting in their homes because of the risk they pose to children.

The federal government-funded Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) project tells parents how they can safely dispose of expired and unwanted medicines in order to prevent their children getting poisoned.

More than 5000 children end up in hospital due to medicine poisonings each year.

“Last year alone, over 700 tonnes of medicines were collected and safely disposed of by the RUM project, preventing it from ending up in waterways or landfill,” RUM project manager Toni Riley said.

“If that’s only medicines collected from around 20 per cent of the population, imagine how many more are hiding in bathroom cabinets and kitchen drawers across the country.”

Parents wanting more information can go to returnmed苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,苏州美甲培训学校, or ask their local pharmacist.


Employers are being urged to swap older fluorescent lights for more efficient LED bulbs to help their workers become more alert.

The Sleep Health Foundation and Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity say Australia has a worrying rate of sleep disorders and improving lighting in workplaces could help.

Alertness CRC sleep specialist Professor Steven Lockley said using blue-enriched white light bulbs can help increase alertness and performance in the workplace.

“Many companies are considering changing their lights to save energy and we would like businesses to understand that if they choose the right light, they can add additional benefits to their bottom line with improved productivity and safety,” he said.