Dona Murphy was finally feeling relieved. Eight years after being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a mastectomy, her oncologist declared her cancer-free.
Then in November, she received a couriered letter from the hospital where she had her surgery, delivering some shocking news: The breast implant used during her reconstruction was now banned by Health Canada.
Last May, Health Canada pulled a type of textured breast implant off the market, following a joint investigation by CBC News, Radio-Canada, the Toronto Star and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The product — specifically macro-textured Biocell implants, made by Allergan — has been linked to a rare form of lymphoma known as breast-implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or BIA-ALCL.
Health Canada says it’s a “serious but rare type of lymphoma,” with the agency pegging the risk of BIA-ALCL at one in 3,565 (0.03%) for the Biocell implants. In Canada, more than 30 women have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL.
Regulators in both Canada and the U.S. don’t recommend that women with the implants have them removed because the cancer is so rare. But they say women should check with their doctor if they have any symptoms, which include pain and swelling.
Paying for peace of mind?
While Murphy has no symptoms from her textured implant, she wants the device removed from her body. But the Ontario government has said that if the implant doesn’t affect her health, it’s up to her to pay to have it taken out.
“I can’t imagine why any woman would want to have it in them if there’s a potential — no matter how small — of causing cancer,” she said.
Patricia Mailman has two textured implants, put in after undergoing a double mastectomy in Halifax as part of her cancer treatment. When she found out about the ban, she too immediately wanted her implants replaced with non-textured ones.
She doesn’t have $10,000 needed to pay a plastic surgeon to have the explant done, she said, so she’s on a waiting list to have the Nova Scotia government pay, because the implants are causing her pain.
“We didn’t ask for the cancer in the first place, so we didn’t really ask for this either,” Mailman said.
Textured breast implants were used in thousands of procedures in Canada beginning in 2006, with the pebble-like surface intended to act as a kind of Velcro, preventing the implant from sliding on the chest well.
The medical community started linking some breast implants to cancer in 2011.
BIA-ALCL is not breast cancer, but rather lymphoma that grows in the scar tissue surrounding the breast. It grows slowly and can usually be successfully treated by surgically removing the implants.
Risks involved with removal
Dr. Michael Weinberg, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, estimates he’s implanted about 100 pairs of textured implants. Now because of the ban, he says some of his former patients are scared, worried and asking for his advice.
“They are very emotional and I completely understand how they feel really badly,” he said.
Weinberg cautions that removing implants is a significant operation, both in terms of medical risks, as well as cosmetically.
The risks of implant removal include:
“You can’t guarantee when the implant is under the muscle that you’ll be able to take the whole capsule out,” said Weinberg, or the surrounding scar tissue that can stick to the ribs.
Still, for some women, the thought of possibly developing cancer is a worse risk.
Murphy is scheduled to have her implant removed in March, paying for it out of her own pocket. But, she points out, that’s something a lot of women can’t afford to do.
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down – Chemainus Valley Courier
Canada’s procurement minister is urging drugmaker Pfizer-BioNTech to get the country’s COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule back on track as soon as possible, as the two provinces hardest hit by the pandemic warned slower shipments will mean changes to their respective game plans.
Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision to delay international vaccine shipments for four weeks to upgrade production facilities in Europe.
“We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible,” she said on Twitter Saturday. “Pfizer assured us that it is deploying all efforts to do just that.”
She noted that shipments for the upcoming week will be largely unaffected, and said the government will provide updates as they become available.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said the delay will likely have an effect on the province, though the full impact of the move is not yet known.
“We understand that this change in supply could see deliveries reduced by at least half for Canada in the coming weeks,” Williams said in a statement Saturday.
“We will assess and take appropriate action to ensure we can continue providing our most vulnerable with vaccines.”
In Ontario, long-term care residents, caregivers and staff who already received their first dose of Pfizer’s vaccine will receive their second dose between 21 and 27 days later, no more than a week longer than originally planned.
But that time frame will be longer for anyone else receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with second doses being delivered anywhere from 21 to 42 days after the initial shot.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said Friday the reduced shipments mean that 86,775 of the 176,475 doses of the vaccine expected by Feb. 8 won’t be delivered as planned.
Officials are establishing a new distribution plan, but the Quebec Health Department said the strategy to immunize as many people as possible within priority groups will be maintained, with a delay of up to 90 days for the second dose.
Officials in Saskatchewan said COVID-19 vaccinations will continue as doses are received, with Premier Scott Moe telling reporters Friday that the province’s strategy for the two-dose regime depends on steady shipments.
That province says 2,857 vaccine doses were administered Friday — a record to date — with a shipment of 4,900 doses of Moderna vaccine also arriving and set to be distributed.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said in a statement that given the current trajectory of the epidemic, cases will continue to rise unless there’s significant progress in interrupting spread.
The latest forecasts suggest the country could be dealing with 10,000 new daily cases by the end of January. Meanwhile, hospitalizations and deaths, which tend be one to several weeks behind a spike in the disease, are still on the rise.
For the seven-day period ending Jan. 14, Canada averaged 4,705 hospitalizations across the country with 875 patients requiring intensive care treatment. During the same period, an average of 137 deaths were reported daily.
On Saturday, Ontario topped 3,000 cases and added another 51 deaths linked to the virus.
In Quebec, 2,225 new infections were reported along with 67 deaths attributed to the virus, pushing the province over the 9,000 death mark since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the east, New Brunswick continues to report the highest daily COVID-19 cases, with 27 new cases reported Saturday.
The province’s 267 active cases is the highest in the Atlantic Canada, where cases have remained relatively low.
Saskatchewan reported 270 new COVID-19 cases and two further deaths on Saturday.
The Canadian Press
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Five big box stores fined for violating COVID-19 orders in one day | News – Daily Hive
Multiple big box stores have been fined for failing to follow provincial COVID-19 orders.
Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development said on social media that inspectors had visited 110 retailers on January 16 as part of a weekend big box blitz.
As a result, five stores were fined for “failing to keep workers and customers safe,” Monte McNaughton tweeted.
UPDATE: On Saturday, 110 Big Box Stores were inspected and 5 Big Box corporations were fined for failing to keep workers and customers safe. Inspectors are cracking down again today with our #BigBoxBlitz. pic.twitter.com/YIRTr7IdD4
— Monte McNaughton (@MonteMcNaughton) January 17, 2021
McNaughton did not specify which retailers were fined.
On January 14, the Government of Ontario announced that approximately 50 ministry inspectors, as well as local bylaw and police officers, would be visiting big-box stores this weekend to ensure COVID-19 rules were being followed.
Inspectors were dispersed throughout Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York, and Durham, which have been the province’s virus hotspots.
The government said the blitz would focus on ensuring workers and patrons were wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and following health and safety measures.
Premier Doug Ford announced a second provincial State of Emergency on January 12. He has also issued a Stay at Home order, which went into effect January 14. Both measures will be in place for at least 28 days.
Under the Stay at Home order, people must only go out for essential trips, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing healthcare services, exercising, or essential work.
To date, Ontario has seen 237,786 COVID-19 cases and 5,409 deaths.
Daily Hive has contacted McNaughton for more information and will update this story accordingly.
Mental Illness in Canada
Mental illnesses affect 6.7 million Canadians annually—but how prepared are we as a country to support those who are suffering?
The million-dollar question has been presented.
Regardless of mental illness now becoming a much more talked about thing than before. There are still many people that tend to misunderstand mental illnesses. About 6.7 million Canadians suffer from metal illnesses and therefore this is something that the government should actively become a part of overtaking.
Let’s get the numbers in a much more understandable term. 1 out of every 5 Canadians is suffering form a metal health disorder. This means that they are diagnosed with some sort of mental condition that would be treatable under common circumstances. Which means that this does not includes people who did not or cannot go to a problem doctor.
Out of those diagnosed with mental illness annually, depression and bipolar disorder, substance abuse disorder or addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and PTSD are among the most common.
“In any given week, 500,000 Canadians aren’t able to work due to mental illness,”
This is how serious this issue is and not to mention that by 2020 mental issues would be a leading cause of disability in most Canadian workplaces.
“an estimated $50 billion is lost annually through unemployment, absenteeism and presenteeism,”
This is clearly going to have not only a personal but an economical impact as well.
When it comes to mental illness, our public health system is still set up in a way that concentrates on treatment versus preventative measures.
“We’ve done a lot of great work to tackle the stigma and, as a result, people are coming out and having discussions [and seeking treatment],”
“But the problem is that the system isn’t ready to respond to that.”
While many say Canada has universal health care, it’s really universal medical care as mental health and illness are still not treated in the same way as physical care.
The government would need to take proactive prevention measures that would allow them to limit
“We don’t wait until stage 4 to treat cancer, so why do we [wait so long] with mental illness?”
We have a great set of initiative by the recent government but then again due to a lack of funding on the projects and ideas things have seen a lag. Lagging on such matters can be dangerous as can leave people scared for life. They should be treated the same as people that are going through physical pain.
Though making sure services such as addiction counsel, psychologists and social workers are publicly funded would be a major leap in the right direction but there is still a lot of effort that is needed when it comes to educating people about these problems and actually take control of the matters and solving them for real.
Lack of funding for a developed economy seems like a joke. This needs to end and things need to take care of soon. With out proper mental health, people, children, workforce and every other aspect of life and economy could be severely and negatively be effected by this.
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