Happy News Year!
BLIMEY, WHAT A YEAR it’s been already. I’m not talking about Goldman Sachs making a £291m investment in Facebook, or the fact that last week was the most popular week of the year to start an affair. Evidently, the bad weather and financial worries both contributed to over four per cent of married people wanting an illicit encounter. I’m not sure telling my wife it was cold outside, is a good enough excuse, should she catch me being naughty.
The news that the average 80-year-old patient is taking seven or eight drugs which may not be needed was quite surprising. A study of GP’s revealed in most instances 30 to 40 per cent of drugs could be cut, saving the National Health Service millions and improving the patient’s health.
What about the survey carried out by the World Cancer Research Fund, which revealed that a third of people of all ages are put off from exercising, because of the high cost of gyms - since when has it cost money to go for a walk? The study also claimed that 36 per cent said pressures of work and family commitments prevented them from being more active; I bet the honest answer is they just can’t be bothered.
Scientists estimate 10,000 cases of breast and bowel cancer could be prevented every year if we did regular physical activity. Oh, now I understand why it’s popular to start an affair in January, but do they really mean that type of physical activity?
The announcement that a new tablet will be launched later this year, for men with advanced prostate cancer, is brilliant news. Not only does it extend survival, but has none of the toxic side-effects such as fatigue, nausea and hair loss that chemotherapy causes.
Without sounding like Sir Trevor McDonald, another great news story is a blood test that’s been developed to predict lung cancer, up to five years before symptoms appear. The test is based on detecting when cancer cells begin to develop, because our immune system starts releasing antibodies to kill the malignant cells in our bloodstream.
However, it’s been a mixed year so far for the Health & Safety brigade. An explosion of signs has appeared telling us "Don't feed bread to the waterfowl...it may harm their wellbeing." Crikey, ducks have been consuming bread since it was first baked. I’ve never seen any swans, geese or ducks showing signs of indigestion. There are now signs telling us “Beware of the mud.” Do we really need telling about the dangers of mud?
Yet they neglected to put a sign up warning balloonists that if they undertake altitude record breaking attempts, it would be advisable to wear parachutes..... But it is only January.
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