Everybody has woken during the night certain their headache must be a brain tumour. Amazingly that thought is cured by daylight and breakfast ! Be reassured a headache is rarely due to a brain tumour. Although there has been a number of high profilecases of brain cancer recently brain tumours are uncommon. About 5-6 people per 100,000 will develop brain cancer with the incidence increasing with age.
The cause of brain tumours is usually unknown. To clarify two urban myths: There are no data showing low frequency non-ionizing radiation produced by electrical appliances or power lines has any consistent association with disease or causes cancer. Even better, there is no evidence of a higher brain tumour risk among users of cellular phones compared to non–users.
Brain tumors cause many symptoms but often not until very late in the disease progress.
|• Headaches usually worse in the morning and easing during the day|
|• Nausea and vomiting|
|• Changes in your ability to talk, hear or see|
|• Problems with balance or walking|
|• Muscle jerking or twitching|
|• Numbness or tingling in arms or legs|
All of those symptoms can have other causes. With CT and MRI scans the diagnosis of a brain tumour is usually easy but frequently the diagnosis is still made far too late for effective treatment.
Even with the best treatment the outcome is poor if it is an aggressive cancer. With benign brain tumours treatment may be very effective and even curative. Treatment of brain cancer usually involves some form of surgery perhaps with radiotherapy.
One of the real difficulties with surgery is the tumour may be totally inaccessible with the prospect of significant injury to healthy brain tissue if surgery is attempted.
A horrendous example: A patient of ours had what was relatively easy brain surgery with the problem happily fixed. A paralysed left side and loss of all speech were unexpected and inexplicable complications.
If you are still worried then check it out ! !
"Stilnox" (zolpidem) is a mild sleeping tablet. Recently a few Australian professional footballers were accused of taking a "Stilnox" + alcohol concoction for some presumed illicit drug thrill.This combination simply beggars the imagination.
Too many scrums I guess.
The Adverse Drug Reaction Bulletin reported a low incidence of absolutely bizarre side effects from "Stilnox" including: Visual hallucinations, confusion and amnesia, automatic behaviour such as binge eating, house painting and possibly driving - all while asleep !
Patients were unable to recall these episodes with reports of patients asleep but binge eating while sitting in front of an open fridge door.
One report had a patient putting on 23 kg of weight from midnight binge eating. Another patient woke with a paintbrush in her hand after painting the front door while asleep ! Unbelievable.
There are other safer mild sedatives, but the rule still applies: Do not mix alcohol and sedatives. Perhaps keep your head out of scrums as well.
The Global Financial Crisis has really spotlighted the devastating consequences of unemployment. You probably now know someone who has become unemployed, perhaps for the first time. Maybe you had not previously thought just how devastating unemployment can be. You have probably noticed a change in that newly unemployed person's demeanor as well.
Work and employment is important, for good health, as well as social functioning. Unemployment is not a disease, and should not be medicalised. That is all well accepted, but it is not as easy as that. It is a complex vicious circle.
That the employed are healthier than the unemployed, is generally true. Health problems associated with unemployment are many: Depression, other mental health problems, chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, higher levels of risk behaviour such as smoking and increased alcohol, family stresses, a real blow to personal ego and sense of worth, and so on.
The new low income further causes ill health by reducing purchasing ability for goods and services, such as adequate nutrition and housing, and through its psychosocial effects of lowered self-esteem, and loss of social networks. Suddenly not being able to meet mortgage payments, or afford the private school fees, or the usual few drinks on Friday night can be crushing. The often assumed view that the unemployed lost his job because of poor work performance, can be very hurtful and is probably incorrect.
The impact of unemployment on health is thought to increase with the length of unemployment. In turn these consequent chronic physical and mental health problems act as barriers to re-employment . Up to now the focus has been on defining the association between unemployment and health.
Little attention has been paid to developing or evaluating interventions within the healthcare system to prevent or reduce the health impacts of unemployment. Currently there is little understanding of just what the most appropriate responses might be.
It is easy to see the impact of unemployment on one person but translate that to a community and the huge increase in health costs, in support and personal costs and of course in social security costs start to appear.
An elderly woman asked her doctor for the Oral Contraceptive Pill. Her stunned doctor cautiously said " Mrs. Smith you're 75 years old. What possible use could you have for birth control pills?
Mrs Smith innocently replied "They help me sleep better."
Her nonplussed doctor who thought he had seen everything asked " How on earth do birth control pills help you to sleep? "
Mrs Smith sweetly answered "I put them in my granddaughter's orange juice - and I sleep better at night. " True story !Dr Richard - 2007 Dr Richard - Stress