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News: Fertility and cancer, kidnap attempt, new iv iron, drugs in pregnancy

Fertility hope after breast cancerSo, what’s making news in the parenting world this week?

What has given hope to young women who’ve had breast cancer? How did a group of strangers help a mother in a Brisbane shopping centre this week? How can people with iron deficiency save time and money? And what were the findings of a recent study into the use of anti-psychotics in pregnancy?

Fertility hope for young women with breast cancer

The results of an international clinical trial has given new hope for women who want to conceive after chemotherapy.

The new treatment option for young women with breast cancer has been shown to better preserve their fertility during cancer treatment.

In the Prevention of Early Menopause Study (POEMS), premenopausal women between 18 to 49 years with breast cancer received standard chemotherapy with or without the drug goserelin. POEMS examined whether goserelin treatment allowed the women’s ovaries to recover after chemotherapy while not interfering with the cancer treatment itself.

The study found that women who received goserelin were less likely to be in menopause two years after their cancer treatment (8% compared with 22%) and were twice as likely to have a normal pregnancy after their cancer treatment.

Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips, the Australasian and European Study Chair of the POEMS clinical trial, says this is fantastic news for young women with breast cancer who require treatment with chemotherapy and want to have children

“I have seen first hand how young women with breast cancer have been able to go on to have healthy, happy babies following their cancer treatment, which is a wonderful result.”

Passersby rescue toddler from shopping centre kidnapping attempt

A Brisbane toddler was rescued by a group of strangers after a kidnapping attempt in a shopping centre on Thursday afternoon.

The child was sitting with his mother in the food court at Lutwyche City shopping centre when the man allegedly grabbed him. The 29-year-old man had his parole revoked when he appeared in court today (Friday). His case has been adjourned until June 27.

Bub Hub founder Brad Lauder says the passersby should be applauded for coming to the child’s rescue.

“Whoever these people are, they should be proud of themselves,” he says. “It is easy to stand back and do nothing when this sort of thing happens.

“We always say it takes a village to raise a child – and this is the ‘village’ in action!”

Iron deficiency treatment now on PBS

A new form of iv iron –with a transfusion time of just 15 minutes – is now listed on the PBS, making it more affordable for people with iron-deficiency anaemia.

Ferinject (ferric carboxymaltose) is 24 times faster to administer than traditional methods, which take 6 hours for transfusion.

It is used for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia across a range of conditions – including pregnancy – where oral iron tablets are not tolerated, ineffective or can’t be used.

Concord Hospital Cardiologist Professor Andrew Sindone says the new treatment means patients can be treated by their GP or practice nurse instead of spending a day in hospital.

Anti-psychotic medication in pregnancy does affect babies, study shows

A seven-year study of women who take anti-psychotic medication while pregnant has shown that, while there are no clear associations with specific congenital abnormalities, babies are more likely to need special care after birth.

The Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre and Monash University study has shown that while most women gave birth to healthy babies, the use of mood stabilisers or higher doses of anti-psychotics during pregnancy increased the need for special care after birth with 43 per cent of babies placed in a Special Care Nursery or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, almost three times the national rate.

The world-first study also shows anti-psychotic drugs affects babies in other ways; 18 per cent were born prematurely, 37 per cent showed signs of respiratory distress and 15 per cent developed withdrawal symptoms.

Principal investigator Professor Jayashri Kulkarni says the study highlights the need for clearer health guidelines when antipsychotic drugs are taken during pregnancy.

“The lack of data has made it very difficult for clinicians to say anything conclusively on how safe it is for babies … this new research confirms that most babies are born healthy, but many experience neonatal problems such as respiratory distress.,” Professor Kulkarni said.

“The potentially harmful effects of taking an antipsychotic drug in pregnancy have to be balanced against the harm of untreated psychotic illness. The good news is we now know there are no clear associations with specific congenital abnormalities and these drugs

“However clinicians should be particularly mindful of neonatal problems such as respiratory distress, so it’s critical that Neonatal Intensive Care Units, or Special Care Nurseries are available for these babies.”

Image credit: meddj/123RF Stock Photo

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