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New study results on cancer-causing meats

ABC News Report
Bacon, sausages, ham and other processed meats are cancer-causing, red meat probably is too

Processed meats like bacon, sausages and hot dogs can cause colon cancer and red meat is also a likely cause of the disease, World Health Organisation (WHO) experts say, in a potentially heavy blow for the global meat industry.

Key points:

  • Analysis of 800 studies worldwide found evidence “consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”
  • Varieties of meat include salted, cured, fermented and smoked meat, among others
  • Processed meat added to same category of cancer-causing agents as smoking and asbestos
  • Could account for 50,000 worldwide deaths per year
  • Scientists, nutritionists say moderation the best approach
  • “Farce to compare sausages with cigarettes”: Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce

The analysis of 800 studies from around the world by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”.

“Each 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent,” it said in a statement.

The category includes meat that has been salted, cured, fermented or smoked — hot dogs, sausages, corned beef, dried meat like beef jerky or South African biltong, canned meat or meat-based sauces.

The finding supports “recommendations to limit intake of meat” — particularly in processed forms, the IARC said.

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Hospitals need to show leadership

Bill Nemitz, Maine Sunday Telegram

Mission statements are not something most organizations take lightly. Each word is carefully chosen, each phrase honed and polished to capture the essence of who you are, what you do and why it’s so important. Take the Maine Hospital Association, for example: “To provide leadership through advocacy, information and education, to support its members in fulfilling their mission to improve the health of their patients and communities they serve.” Did someone say “leadership”? And might this be the perfect moment for Maine’s hospitals to step up and, as they promise in their 27-word raison d’ếtre, “improve the health of their patients and the communities they service”? We wish …

Drug-free dementia treatment a model

An Alzheimer’s patient in a Waterville nursing home improves markedly without prescribed medication

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling, Morning Sentinel, Maine/New England

Waterville – When Vicki Dyer became the program administrator for the newly opened 32-bed dementia ward at Lakewood nursing home in 2006, she wasn’t happy with the amount of suffering she saw. As in many nursing homes, residents who were disoriented, frightened and frustrated by their inability to recognize people or surroundings and became difficult to handle were medicated as a way of calming them. It’s a situation that frequently plays out in nursing homes which care for some of the 25,000 Maine residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Lakewood achieves its success by talking candidly with families and doctors in an effort to try an environmental approach to resident care. Resident Pauline Ellis took part in the new treatment model and now has a more positive outlook on the workers who have undergone sensitivity training to care for her. Pauline also has a more positive outlook on life now that she is off medication.

Massachusetts House votes to close loophole on Alzheimer’s care:

Bill would set unit standards

Kay Lazar, Globe staff, The Boston Globe

A loophole in Massachusetts law that allows nursing homes to advertise specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care units, even though their workers may have no training in caring for such residents, is one step closer to being closed. Massachusetts is one of a handful of states without such requirements. A 2005 federal report noted that 44 states at that time had requirements governing training, staffing, security, and other areas for facilities that provided specialized dementia care … A recent Boston Glove investigation, which analyzed data on nursing homes nationwide, found a clear link between nursing home staffing levels and the overuse of powerful sedatives called antipsychotics, which are often prescribed for residents with dementia to control agitation, despite government drug regulators’ warnings about safety risks.