News and Issues

Women working in some factories have a 400% increased risk of breast cancer

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An important plastics and breast cancer study that CWHN has been promoting is featured on Global TV this week. 

For more on the Global story, see the trailer.

For more information on this study and many related resources please see, on our website, Women, Plastics and Cancer.

Chiara DeBlasio talk about her clinical depression, drug and alcohol use

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The daughter of New York City’s incoming mayor talks candidly about her struggles with clinical depression, drug and alcohol use while she was at college, on You Tube.

To learn more and to participate on the discussion on young women and alcohol, see our new survey on the issue, as well as many other resources on women and the health effects of alcohol, in our Women and Alcohol section.

Vanessa's Law to protect Canadians from unsafe drugs

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From Canadian Press (published on Huffington Post):

OTTAWA - The Conservative government has introduced new legislation aimed at protecting consumers from unsafe medications and reducing adverse drug reactions.

The Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act is known as Vanessa's Law in honour of the late daughter of Conservative MP Terence Young.

The 15-year-old died of a heart attack 13 years ago while on a prescription drug for a stomach ailment. The medication was later deemed unsafe and pulled from the market.

Young, MP for Oakville, has been fighting ever since for a more stringent Canadian drug-monitoring system.

Under the new legislation, the government now has the power to initiate mandatory recalls for unsafe drugs and to demand reports from health-care institutions on adverse drug reactions.

The bill also allows the government to impose tough new penalties for unsafe products, including jail time and new fines of up to $5 million a day instead of the current $5,000.

Read the whole story: Vanessa's Law Honours Memory Of Tory MP Terence Young's Late Daughter.

What’s in a name? An argument for renaming antidepressants

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An article in Scientifica makes the case that antidepressants are mislabeled. These medications might be better be called “antiaphrodisiacs as antidepressants because the negative effects on libido and sexual functioning are so common,” the authors argue.

Read the whole article: Relabeling the medications we call antidepressants

Plan B emergency contraceptive may not work in heavier women

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Alarming news broke recently that the emergency contraceptive levonorgestrel, sold as Plan B, may not work for women who weigh 165 pounds or more. This information does not appear on the packaging or information sheets for Plan B, which has been sold since 2000.

Read CWHN Executive Director Anne Rochon Ford's comments about this issue in the Canadian Medical Association Journal here.

The Pill linked with risk of glaucoma

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New findings from a study of more than 3,400 women aged 40 and older has found that eye disease is more common among users of birth control pills.

The study found that those who have taken birth control pills for more than three years may have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Read more about this study in 'The Pill' Tied to Raised Risk of Glaucoma.

New cholesterol guidelines in the US overestimate risks

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New guidelines in the United States have, it seems, greatly overestimated the risks from high cholesteral. This overestimation could have dangerous consequences, such that millions of people may be mistakely advised to start taking statins for undefined health “benefits.”

To learn more about this debate, see these pieces in the New York Times:

Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed

Don’t Give More Patients Statins

To read about women and statins, see Evidence for Caution: What women need to know about statins, producd by CWHN’s partner Women and Health Protection.

B.C. resumes support for the Therapeutics Initiative

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The University of British Columbia welcomes the decision by the B.C. Ministry of Health to resume its support for the Therapeutics Initiative, a project managed by members of the Faculty of Medicine.

“This is good news. It means stronger patient protection through evidence-based evaluations of new drugs,” said Gavin Stuart, dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine. “It is critical for our researchers to have access to health care data.”

The decision ends more than a year of uncertainty as the Ministry of Health conducted a review into the handling of B.C. patients’ health information. The TI contract, suspended in September 2012, resumes with enhanced oversight, strengthened accountability and more robust protection of patient information.

Read UBC welcomes the resumption of B.C. support for the Therapeutics Initiative

Read the BC government press release: New protocols protect privacy in health data research

How women with disabilities get misdiagnosed

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In her recent blog post on the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada website, Isabelle Ducharme talks about this issue that faces women with disabilities.

Read this blog post on DAWN Canada’s website.

See DAWN’s latest newsletter.

CWHN's colleagues win award for groundbreaking breast cancer research

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Congratulations to our colleagues Jim Brophy and Margaret Keith of Windsor ON on the announcement that they will receive a scientific research award from the American Public Health Association in November for their groundbreaking work on occupational links to cancer in women.

Read about it in the Windsor Star.

Read about the research they have done into breast cancer risk in the automotive industry, in our Network article, Not a Flower Shop: Exploring Breast Cancer Risk and Gender Bias.

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