Tag Archives: 1970s

Older People ‘Miss Skin Cancer Signs’

Older people are less likely to get skin changes checked by a doctor, leading to a steep rise in cancer deaths, say researchers.

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The East of England Cancer Registry reports that deaths from melanoma among the over 65s have tripled in the past 30 years.

The elderly are more likely to be diagnosed when the cancer has spread.

Cancer Research UK says pensioners should keep a close eye on moles and report suspicious changes to GPs.

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and is linked to cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime.

This means that the over-65s are more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

Overlooked
However, unlike younger people, the registry data reveals that the classic signs of a cancerous mole are being overlooked among a host of other changes to older skin.

This means that by the time the mole cannot be ignored, the cancer is likely to be at a more advanced stage, making it far harder to treat.

Dr Jem Rashbass, the director of the East of England Cancer Registry, which collates data on cancer to identify trends among the population, said: “Although there have been some improvements in the number of over 65s being diagnosed with melanoma at a late stage, the figures suggest that more needs to be done to raise awareness about skin cancer among this generally retired population.”

The registry data revealed that, for every year since 1997, significantly more elderly people have been diagnosed with late-stage melanoma compared with under-65s.

While the death rate among older people rose from four deaths per 100,000 people in 1979 to 11.4 per 100,000 in 2008, the death rate for people aged between 15 and 64 has remained stable.

Sara Hiom, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Melanoma is a largely preventable disease. Summer may be over, but the damage to skin cells shown by sunburn can remain long after the redness fades.”

Her colleague Caroline Cerny, from the charity’s “Sunsmart” campaign, highlighted the classic warning signs of melanoma.

She said: “If a mole is as big as a pencil-top eraser, bleeds, is sore or itchy, uneven in colour or has jagged edges, then people should visit their GP without delay.”

Source : BBC News

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Mums Always Think Mother Knows Best

 

Mothers-to-be think their own mothers know better than the medical profession when it comes to health advice, researchers say.

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Pregnant women are bombarded with diffenent advices

A University of London team talked to women who gave birth in the 1970s, 1980s and the 2000s.

Modern women were more likely to take a mixture of advice – but were still more likely to follow family wisdom.

One baby charity said family tips were useful, but medical advice should be sought if mothers-to-be had worries.

The researchers talked about pregnancy and childbirth advice to seven women who gave birth in the 1970s and 12 of their daughters who had babies in the 2000s.

They then also analysed interviews on the same topic which had been carried out with 24 women in the 1980s.

The 1970s women were most likely to take advice from family members.

But researchers found that women who had babies between 2000 and 2010 had to evaluate a wide range of information from doctors, midwives, books, magazines and, latterly, the internet – as well as that from their families.

In these women, it tended to be family advice that won out – particularly if a mother-to-be was dealing with a specific symptom.

One woman, Hetty, from the 2000s generation, said she had tried to stop drinking tea because she had read on the internet that caffeine could cause miscarriages in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

But she then added she had taken her grandmother’s advice that tea could help relieve morning sickness.

“She just used to stay in bed and have a cup of tea. And that did help actually.”

‘Strike a balance’

Professor Paula Nicolson from Royal Holloway, University of London, who led the study, said: “When it comes to the crunch – if women feel sick for example – they will take their mother’s or their grandmother’s advice.

“They wouldn’t necessarily recognise how important it was to them, but it would override the science.”

She added: “Taking all the guidelines too seriously leads to anxieties. Lack of self-confidence also can lead to worry about ‘doing the wrong thing’ which is potentially more harmful than taking the odd glass of wine or eating soft cheese.”

Jane Brewin, chief executive of baby charity Tommy’s, said women had to “strike a balance” about what advice they took.

“It’s only natural to want to talk about the significant changes that happen to a woman’s body and how she feels; mums and close friends often have first-hand experience and tips that are helpful.

“However we always stress that if any mum-to-be is worried about anything during their pregnancy they should seek medical advice without delay.”

Source:
BBC NEWS:May 14. 2010

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