The Carers UK campaign, Caring for Carers, just got the attention it needed as top politicians are calling for an urgent debate to discuss and immediate extra aid for carers. Nearly 60 MPs from all three main political parties have signed a Commons motion calling for extra aid for carers.
Dr Hywel Francis, Labour MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers, said:
“Carers need to be treated with more dignity and respect.”
Tory MP Peter Bottomley added:
“I’m glad The Mirror is campaigning.”
In the National Strategy for Carers the government pledged that, by 2018 ‘carers will be supported so that they are not forced into financial hardship by their caring role.’
Carers cannot wait another 9 years, that is why Carers UK is asking for your help, head over to the Carers Poverty Charter page and complete the form to show your support to the campaign.
Carers UK’s poverty charter is backed by Alzheimer’s Society, Citizens Advice, Contact a Family, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Every Disabled Child Matters, for dementia, Mencap, Macmillan Cancer, Motor Neurone Disease Society, National Autistic Society, Oxfam, Parkinson’s Disease Society, Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Rethink, USDAW and Vitalise.
Incontinence, as we all know is a common treatable medical condition that affects man and women. Every now and then, incontinence makes the headlines of major news sources, be it a revolutionary new treatment or a celebrity that comes forward to talk his or her incontinence experiences.
The headline this time was about an incontinence treatment used for over 30 years to restore urinary incontinence in almost 130,000 men around the world, and it has finally being approved in Japan.
The AMS 800 is an artificial sphincter which is implanted and completely concealed inside the patient’s body. This Gold Standard treatment has been tested in Japan since 2004 and according to a survey by the Japanese Urological Association, approximately 16,000 radical prostatectomy’s were performed with a high success rate which led to the approval by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).
You might be asking, so what? this incontinence treatment is now available to Japanese men suffering from Urinary Incontinence. The point here is, in today’s world where any novelties or breakthroughs spread to all corners of the globe with lighting speed, only now after 30 years of success this treatment has been approved by the Japanese Medical authorities.
The Phoenix Medical Device and Diagnostic Conference for Chief Executive Officers is one of best known conferences of its segment, and every year during the conference the Phoenix Awards are presented for outstanding achievement in the Medical device and diagnostic industry to individuals and companies selected by industry CEOs and, this innovative, non-surgical treatment for female stress urinary incontinence was named the 2009 ‘Most Promising New Product’.
Developed by Novasys Medical, Inc., the Renessa treatment offers women afflicted with stress urinary incontinence an opportunity to resume activities that make their lives fulfilling.
The Renessa treatment can be performed in the convenience of a physician’s office, or in an outpatient setting, using local anaesthesia. There are no incisions, bandages or dressings required. Recovery is rapid and comfortable, with minimal post-procedure limitations.
More than 350 urologists, uro-gynaecologists and gynaecologists have been trained and have performed the Renessa procedure on nearly 3,000 patients.
About Novasys Medical
Novasys Medical, Inc. is a privately held, venture-backed company which develops innovative therapies in women’s health. The company’s initial focus is the development and commercialization of the Renessa System, a proprietary, non-surgical approach to the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence (SUI).
On Monday, we discussed the effectiveness of invasive operations in the treatment of urinary incontinence. We based our discussion on a study that compared the effectiveness of less invasive procedures to traditional open surgery and other surgical approaches.
Today we would like to talk about an invasive procedure to treat prostate cancer that can increase the chances of post-sugary incontinence. A less invasive robotic surgery used in the treatment of prostate cancer is being related to male incontinence and erectile dysfunctions.
Men who had this surgery have greater chances of becoming incontinent than men who had conventional open surgery, says a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
However, the newer technique cuts patients’ hospital stays, requires far fewer blood transfusions, and carries less than half the risk of leaving behind scar tissue necessitating a second surgery.
That is one of the reasons why you should always ask for second medical opinion in cases like this.
It is estimated that a total of 6 million people in the UK – 10% percent of the population – is looking after sick or elderly relatives and friends. As Carers, these people save the country an incredible sum of £87 billion a year and yet still many of these people are struggling to afford the basic everyday living costs.
With that in mind, The Daily Mirror and Carers UK are launching a campaign to improve the lives of Britain’s carers. On Sunday 11th October, the Daily Mirror joined forces with Carers UK to call for an immediate review of carers’ benefits. Carers UK chief executive Imelda Redmond said:
“The whole issue of allowances is an absolute disgrace. It is not properly recognised how people have to give up their jobs and look after sick and disabled relatives.”
The current Carers Allowance or main benefit for carers, is the lowest of its kind and many carers are not even aware they are entitled to such benefit. Payments are way below the national minimum wage. Carers are currently paid just £53.10 a week which in a minimum of 35 hours’ caring works out at £1.52 per hour when the government minimum wage is £5.80 per hour.
But the benefit is denied to carers if they care for fewer than 35 hours a week, if they receive a state pension, if they earn more than £95.0 a week after tax or if they are full-time students.
The campaign first launched by Carers UK has already won the backing of over 200 organisations including the Daily Mirror.
The campaign’s demands the Government to:
1. Protect carers from falling into poverty or financial hardship.
2. Reflect carers’ different circumstances.
3. Help carers to combine caring with paid work and study.
4. Be easy to understand and straightforward to claim.
What are your views on the current legislation on benefits for carers? Do you think the government is right to assume family should look after their relatives for less than people not working and claiming Job Seekers Allowance, which currently stands at £64.30 for over 25 year olds? Write your comments in the box below.
There are many ways to treat incontinence, treatments vary according to the degree and type of the incontinence and invasive surgery is considered to be the last resort when other treatments fail.
However, many different procedures can be performed; a recent study compared the effectiveness of less invasive procedures to traditional open surgery and other surgical approaches.
In total, data from 62 trials involving 7,101 women was collected for analysis, the study was conducted by Cochrane Researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, a respectful and reliable source of evidence in health care.
After comparing different types of incontinence surgical procedures, researchers concluded that less invasive operations can be as effective as traditional open surgery for incontinence.
Lead researcher, Joseph Ogah from the Leeds University Teaching Hospital in Leeds, said:
“These were only small trials and they varied greatly in quality, but we were able to make comparisons between different types of surgery and we found that minimally invasive sling operations for stress incontinence in women are very effective for this condition.”
“However, few of the trials we looked at reported outcomes after one year and therefore the long term efficiency of these procedures requires further investigation. It is also of utmost importance to assess how these procedures impact on women’s quality of life, so this needs to be addressed in further studies.”
Have you received surgery for stress incontinence? If you would like to share your experience and success, we would be very grateful if you wrote your comments below.
Last week in San Francisco, California, held the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS). The event attracted over 2,000 professionals in the fields of urology, gynaecology, uro-gynecology, physiotherapy, nursing, neurourology, anorectal surgery and paediatric urology.
Leading continence experts presented a rich scientific programme covering breakthroughs in science, research and medicine. Among the many incontinence treatments and studies presented at this year’s meeting one in specific draw the spotlight thanks to its effectiveness and quality of life improvements.
This minimally invasive device named Adjustable Continence Therapy (ACT) system proved to be an effective treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence associated with intrinsic sphincter deficiency.
The ACT bulks the bladder neck with adjustable silicone balloons providing urethral cooptation as well as bladder neck support. Each balloon is attached to a titanium port buried in the labia majora allowing for postoperative titration of the balloons for maximal efficacy.
So far, the tests were conducted in 162 patients who had the device implanted and have completed in some cases a 3 years follow-up where the results achieved impressive improvement in 83% of the patients.
The results shown that the Adjustable Continence Therapy (ACT) system is an effective and safe treatment for recurrent female stress urinary incontinence.
The study was conducted by the Department of Urology, Tenon Hospital, Groupe Hospitalo-Universitaire EST, Assistance Publique-Hpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), University Paris VI in Paris, France.
In total, 102 patients took place in the study where researchers were trying to determine the safety and prospectively evaluate the clinical outcome after prostatic surgery by placement of a suburethal transobturator sling.
With a minimum follow up of only 6 month, results cannot be considered relevant in conditions like incontinence, but results were pretty good. Of 102 patients, 64 were cured, 18 were improved, and 20 were not improved.
The final conclusion was that placement of a transobturator sling is a safe and effective procedure, giving durable results for stress urinary incontinence after >1 yr of follow-up.
This is the third and final part of our series about Alternative Treatments for Incontinence. As mentioned on Part 2, today we’ll cover some commonly used homeopathic remedies that can be use as incontinence treatments.
Before we list these homeopathic remedies, here is a light insight about them. Homoeopathic medicines are drug components made by homoeopathic pharmacies consisting of plants, minerals and animal extracts. Remedies (usually in liquid, tablet or powder form) are prescribed in accordance with a patient’s symptoms and health conditions while individual characteristics such as emotions and physical condition are also taken into account. Based on that, here are some homeopathic remedies commonly used in the treatment of urinary incontinence:
Arnica is great for involuntary urination that occurs after surgery.
Belladonna is helpful for people who tend to leak urine when they are cold.
Causticum is helpful when involuntary urination is worse in winter and better in summer. It is also useful for stress incontinence.
Equisetum is useful for those people that wet their pants or their bed for no known reason, other than out of habit.
Ferrum phos is helpful for daytime involuntary urination, especially when the urge is strongest while standing.
Kreosotum is useful when the person has a sudden urge to urinate but do not have enough time to get to the bathroom.
Lycopodium is useful for those that are so anxious that they always worry about what others think of them.
Zincum is useful for stress incontinence, urinary retention caused by prostate problems, and the inability to urinate while standing.
Pareira is good for the retention of urine from an enlarged prostate.
Sepia is good for stress incontinence with the sudden urge to urinate, especially with a prolapsed uterus and vaginitis.
Once again, it is important to highlight that the content of this article is aimed for informational purposes only and it is not intended to replace by any means your doctors recommendations.
This is it for our series of articles on Alternative Treatments for Incontinence, hope you enjoyed it and feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section.