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Sardines inhibit chemo, more A&E closures, and how being the daddy makes you less macho

Our round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 13 September.

The Telegraph reports that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in fish such as sardines can inhibit chemotherapy by stopping cancer cells responding to treatment.

Professor Emile Voest, an oncologist at the University Medical Centre in Utrecht who led the research, warns people undergoing cisplatin therapy in the journal Cancer Cell not to eat oily fish or take supplements. Jessica Harris from Cancer Research UK asks cancer patients to talk to their doctors first to find out what could affect their treatment.

The same paper also reports that NHS managers have warned more accident and emergency and maternity units face closure afterHealth Secretary Andrew Lansley accepted the report by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel which recommended the closure of the units at Chase Farm - despite previous ministerial pledges to fight to keep the hospitals open.

MPs are angry at the Government's decision to shut down hospital units but the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Mike Farrar, defended the plan. 'There are a number of places where we need to make similar decisions for service changes of varying sizes up and down the country.'

According to Wales Online NHS staff have been banned from wearing crocs at work after bosses labelled the shoes as a health and safety hazard - the all-Wales NHS dress code states shoes must have a closed-toe for protection - prompting a flood of complaints from local NHS staff.

A nurse working in Cardiff said: 'We work 12-and-a-half hour shifts and those of us who wear them find they help get us through the day.' However Ruth Walker, executive director of nursing at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said, po-facedly, 'safety is a paramount concern.'

As Pulse investigations have previously shown, NHS rationing has led more patients to turn to private care, according to The Guardian. Cuts in the NHS has created an increase in business for private health firms.

David Worskett, chief executive of the NHS Partners Network, said: 'We are certainly picking up that some patients are being asked to wait longer than they would have expected and are therefore deciding to pay for themselves rather than wait.'

The Daily Mail' asks if cynical marketing by drug giants is the reason more women are becoming depressed. According to the journal European Neuropsychopharamcology women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than 40 years ago. Columnist John Naish suggests GPs could be to blame, arguing 'women are increasingly being parked on these powerful and potentially dangerous drugs.'

Finally BBC News reports that researchers have discovered levels of testosterone in fathers decreases following the birth of their child, and the researchers suggest that the drop in the male hormone makes the father more family-orientated.

Christopher Kuzawa, the study leader, said: 'Fatherhood and the demands of having a newborn baby require many emotional, psychological and physical adjustments. Our study indicates that a man's biology can change substantially to help meet those demands.'

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