Latest health news

Complementary medicines: which work and which don't

Complementary medicines: which work and which don't

Harriet Alexander and Nicky Phillips 12:15 AM   Which complementary medicines work and which ones are a waste of money?

'Seeing their grief was more than I could cope with'

Stephen and Sue Neville are part of the new trial.

Harriet Alexander 2:13 PM   Sue Neville accepted her cancer, endured the treatment and stared down the prospect of imminent death, but she could not cope with the sympathy of friends.

'I got so big I couldn't do anything. I didn't want to live'

Lynne Weston at Bendigo Hospital believes if she hadn't gone to the hospital when she did, she probably wouldn't be alive.

Jill Stark 12:15 AM   Shoes are a new luxury for Lynne Weston.

New tools tune up the brain

Guinea pig: Amy Corderoy gets hooked up to the transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) machine.

Amy Corderoy   Stevan Nikolin once participated in a scientific experiment that involved him spending eight hours with needles in the base of his tongue.

'It was the best moment of my life'

Frances Zammit is waiting for a second kidney transplant after her first transplant was rejected.

Michael Koziol   Frances Zammit remembers the phone call. After eight years of waiting, she would be getting a new kidney – and with it, a new life.

Living with beauty and tragedy

Kate Dyer, consultant midwife at the Royal Hospital for Women Randwick.

Mark Dapin    If Kate Dyer cries, it is usually when she is alone, in front of her computer, in the early hours of the morning.

Short bursts of exercise helps regulate type 2 diabetes, research shows

Mechanic Steve Aumann was part of a study that found short bursts of excercise helps to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Craig Butt   Short bursts of exercise between periods of sitting down can help people with type 2 diabetes regulate their condition, new research has found.

Kids in the firing line of climate change

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Lucy Cormack 12:15 AM   Global warming will challenge all creatures great and small, but society's smallest will be among those worst affected by climate change, a new report says.

Quick, kids, run away from the sofa

New research suggests exercise improves cancer patients' capacity for treatment.

Harriet Alexander   A study of 4600 children has found those who were more active in their late childhood had a lower body weight and lower smaller risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes by their mid-teens.

Four-year-old girl in world-first attempt to prevent type 1 diabetes

"It just seemed like a good insurance policy," said Rachel Weldon of the decision to store Isla's cord blood four years ago.

Amy Corderoy   Isla Robinson is a very special little girl. At four years old she might not be old enough to understand it, but on Wednesday she made scientific history.

Is the St John's wort you take the one that works...or the other one?

St John's wort in bloom...not all of its products are created equal.

Harriet Alexander   Complementary medicine maker Nigel Pollard has invested millions gathering evidence to show his products work, so he was surprised to learn how little this effort was worth to the government regulator.

How loud traffic noise can make you fatter

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Living next to a busy road could increase the risk of obesity, the first research into the effects of noise pollution on waistlines has found.

Doctors hope new treatment for brain cancer will spare people's memories

Patients with brain tumours can be treated with new technology that spares the memory.

Julia Medew Health Editor   Every year, thousands of Australians are diagnosed with brain tumours and usually they are secondary to other cancers found in their bodies.

Young doctor blows the whistle on senior 'bully' neurosurgeon

Helen Maroulis.

Julia Medew   A young doctor has accused a senior Melbourne neurosurgeon of being "extremely abusive" towards staff at Monash Medical Centre and says the hospital did not want to know about the constant fear she felt while working there.

Medibank dumps GP access trial

Medibank said while 13,000 members who used the service were pleased with it, "they didn't feel it added additional value to their private health insurance".

Dan Harrison   Medibank has abandoned a controversial trial which gave its members preferential access to GPs.

Australian thalidomide managers knew drug was killing babies 'for five months'

Melbourne lawyer Michael Magazanik has written a book about the thalidomide scandal.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker   Australian managers of the firm that sold Thalidomide to pregnant women in the 1950s and 60s actively covered up concerns it was causing birth defects, according to an explosive statement provided by a company insider.

Medical students under pressure amid reports of bullying

A report by research firm Frost & Sullivan estimates the proportion of private health practitioners taking bookings online to increase rapidly from the current rate of just 3 per cent.

Julia Medew   There are concerns that some doctors' use of fear and humiliation to teach medicine is contributing to high rates of anxiety, depression and burnout among students and undermining patient safety.

What does your Facebook status say about you?

What you chose to put on Facebook could reveal some uncomfortable truths about your personality.

Amy Corderoy   Researchers have examined how different Facebook updates are linked to personality traits... and discovered we are all basically desperate, vain jerks.

Support grows for medical marijuana before Federal Parliament vote

Medical marijuana is illegal in Australia but Queensland and Victoria have joined NSW in a $9 million trial of cannabis oil for patients suffering epilepsy, end-of-life pain and chemotherapy-related nausea.

Adam Gartrell   A new survey will add to the momentum behind a bill to legalise medical marijuana.

Women more likely to drop out of surgical training than men

Deb Colville, an ophthalmologist and president of the Victorian Medical Women's Society says casual sexism discourages women from entering surgery.

Julia Medew   Women are at least twice as likely to drop out of surgical training programs as men, fuelling concerns the prestigious profession is too patriarchal and in need of a cultural revolution.

Senior surgeon accused of bullying

There is growing concern among junior and senior surgeons that bullying and harassment is driving bright, capable doctors out of the prestigious field.

Julia Medew   A senior surgeon who has been responsible for training junior doctors at Victoria's largest public hospital service has been accused of bullying, triggering multiple investigations into her conduct.

Atul Gawande: unfixable problems and being mortal

Atul Gawande, from Boston, is in Sydney to talk about his most recent book <i>Being Mortal</i>.

Amy Corderoy   Atul Gawande is thinking about death. Which is a funny thing, really, because he's the type of doctor who gives you the feeling he would definitely save your life.

Cannabis kids: the long wait for change

At the home of Cherie and Trevor Dell who treat their 3-year-old daughter Abbey with cannabis oil to treat CDKL5, a rare genetic condition.

Scott Hannaford   Across Australia increasing numbers of families are turning to cannabis to relieve their children's suffering. But it's still illegal.

Machine that 'uncooks eggs' used to improve cancer treatment

Professor Colin Raston of Flinders University. Inventor of the vortex fluidic device, which can 'uncook' egg whites.

Marcus Strom   A machine invented by an Australian scientist that can "unboil an egg" by unfolding the proteins in egg whites back to their natural state has been hailed as a potential game-changer for the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.

Few Australians warned of risks with cancer screenings

Many women are not told that while a mammogram could save their life, it could also lead to potentially invasive unnecessary treatment.

Amy Corderoy   Few people screened for certain cancers are being informed of risks from potentially dangerous treatments.

Thousands of children could breach safe blood lead levels

It has been estimated that up to 100,000 Australian children could have blood lead levels that breach the new standard.

Amy Corderoy   The nation's peak health body has halved the blood lead levels that it considers concerning, warning there is no safe level of lead exposure.

Healthy Kids Check axed by Abbott government

Will Fitzpatrick, 4 years old, with his Mum Kate Sheahan in Port Melbourne.

Julia Medew   A comprehensive health check for children aged three to five has been scrapped by the federal government to save about $144 million over four years, angering GPs and speech pathologists.

'Right to die' campaigners support 'gagged' doctor

Rodney Syme

Konrad Marshall   Dr Rodney Syme said hosts of a prestigious national medical event demonstrated "amazing cowardice" by retracting his invitation to speak.

Dementia treatment: Stemming the tide of loss

Susan Sypkens' husband John died in a nursing home.

Bianca Hall   Susan Sypkens first noticed something was amiss with her husband, John, 15 years ago, when he started to forget small details and lose things.

Viagra slows the spread of malaria, study finds

Viagra does more than treat erectile dysfunction. Researchers have found it can slow the spread of malaria.

Nicky Phillips   The little blue pill that gives men more oomph in the bedroom has an unexpected benefit - it can slow the spread of malaria.