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Aysha King now cancer free, doctors must 'talk honestly' about drug taking for pleasure, and pooch smooch gives health boost?

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

The parents of five-year old Aysha King have said he is now free of cancer after travelling to Prague to receive a cutting edge proton-beam therapy treatment that was unavailable through the NHS.

Aysha’s parents were arrested in Spain after removing him from hospital and leaving the country when they were denied the treatment on the NHS, but the High Court later approved him being taken to Prague for treatment.

Aysha’s father Brett told The Sun ‘We have saved his life’ and added that they would do the same thing again if they felt they had to.

Doctors should do more to talk ‘honestly’ with the 90% of the recreational drug-taking population who don’t experience harmful or addictive behaviours, about how they can reduce their risk of harm, an eminent UK addiction specialist has said.

The Guardian reports that, at a Melbourne medical conference, Dr Adam Winstock said doctors were missing a potentially large group of at risk individuals and focussing on 10% of the illicit drug-taking population who experience harms.

Dr Winstock said: ‘[For] some people, drug-taking is really nice, and that’s OK. You can talk to those people and have an informative conversation with them. But people in my profession aren’t usually encouraged to think outside of the people they treat.’

And finally, hair of the dog might not be NICE approved treatment, but researchers suggest smooching a spaniel could act as a health boost by passing on complementary gut bacteria.

Researchers at the University of Arizona believe that after millennia of co-evolution the close bond between man and dog extends beyond stick-throwing, and suggest exposure to dog slobber could have the same probiotic effect as dose of yogurt.

Dr. Charles Raison, principal investigator for the study said: ‘We think dogs might work as probiotics to enhance the health of the bacteria that live in our guts. These bacteria, or ‘microbiota,’ are increasingly recognized as playing an essential role in our mental and physical health.’

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