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Virtual Christmas choir raising the spirits of cancer survivors

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Survivors of head and neck cancer are raising their voices in this festive season in chorus for government funding

They’ve had invasive, life-altering surgeries on their face, tongue, throat, sinuses and salivary glands. They’ve experienced the exquisite, life-saving pain of radiotherapy. They’ve endured rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy

However, despite invasive surgeries on their face, tongue, throat and sinuses, over 60 people created a virtual choir, singing deck the halls.

Head and Neck Cancer Australia Chief Executive, Nadia Rosin, says the choir’s voices include the real voices of survivors and the people who love them. For choir members who could not sing because of surgery, pain, side effects or even fear of singing, they were welcome to clap, dance, play an instrument or even hold up a sign. 

Unlike some more common cancers, head and neck cancer receives no government funding in Australia for many patient outcomes.

Raising our Voices: Head and Neck Cancer Australia Christmas Carol

14 people newly diagnosed every day with a type of Head and Neck Cancer the information, resources, advocacy and support Head and Neck Cancer Australia (HANCA) provides is vital.

Whether it was singing, clapping, holding up a sign, playing an instrument or dancing, the joy expressed by everyone truly makes this performance incredibly special!

Head and Neck Cancer Australia chief executive Nadia Rosin says that more than a thousand Australians died every year from a head or neck cancer “but unlike some more common cancers, head and neck cancer receives no government funding for prevention, early diagnosis or to improve patient outcomes”.

“Many people haven’t even heard of head and neck cancers until they, or someone they love, is diagnosed with one of these cancers. Think sinus cancer, salivary gland cancer, throat cancer, laryngeal cancer and lip or mouth cancer,” Rosin says.

The most important risk factors for head and neck are tobacco and alcohol use which are responsible for over 75% of cases. But what many people may not know is that today in Australia, the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer is the most common cause of tonsil cancer and tongue-based cancer.

There has also been an alarming 385% increase in oral cancers in young women under 45 and the cause is unknown. So even if you don’t smoke or drink to excess, you could be at risk

“Our choir is elevating the voices of survivors and advocating for the 5,100 Australians diagnosed every year, and the 17,000 Australians living with the effects of head and neck cancer, so that we can raise awareness and deliver the right support and treatment for our Head and Neck Cancer community,” Rosin says.

“Given that many people’s voices and ability to speak is changed by head and neck cancer, or its treatment, it might seem strange that we’ve decided to form a pop-up, virtual choir. But we worked very closely with an experienced choir master, speech pathologist and mixing engineer so that everyone who wanted to participate could participate.”

Head and neck cancers are such a sinister disease and the effects of the cancer and their treatment can stay with people for the rest of their lives. It is displayed on their faces for the world to see and it cannot be hidden by clothing. 

Unlike some more common cancers, there is no screening test for head and neck cancer so all Australians, particularly men, need to be aware of the signs and symptoms and act quickly if they notice something unusual.

Some of the more common causes of head and neck cancer include a sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal, pain swallowing, a sore throat or a lump in the neck. Other symptoms can include ear pain, a blocked nose on one side and/or bloody discharge or a bulging or watery eye.

The best thing people can do to reduce their risks around head and neck cancer to is to be aware of the symptoms and get them checked out by their local doctor or dentist without delay. An early diagnosis can make all the difference.

The carol will be sent to every politician in Australia to advocate for funding support.

“We encourage everyone across the country to share it far and wide. Funding for awareness and patient support is the way we’ll improve health outcomes – and literally change lives – for people diagnosed with head and neck cancer,” Rosin says.

People are being encouraged to donate to HANCA Christmas Appeal to support the head and neck cancer community and raising the voices of people living with Head and Neck Cancer.

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What will Trevor Noah do now he’s exiting The Daily Show?

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Trevor Noah is leaving The Daily Show

Noah announced the news to the show’s audience after a recent taping.

He’s been at the helm for seven years after the high-profile departure of Jon Stewart.

He says it’s been a challenge but also a joy to make people laugh during the Trump presidency and the pandemic.

Of course, his departure comes as the late-night landscape continues to shift.

Noah is planning to keep up his comedy, as he travels around the world to keep making people laugh.

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How Disney beat Netflix at its own game

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When it comes to streaming, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Disney+ has quickly become a major force in the streaming wars, adding over 14 million new subscribers in its latest quarter. That’s a big jump from the 3 million it had just three months prior.

In comparison, Netflix lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the same period.

So what happened? How did Disney+ overtake Netflix so quickly?

There are a few factors at play.

For one, Disney+ has a lot of content that people want to watch. As well as its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the service  has access to popular franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, and The Simpsons. That’s a big draw for people who are looking for something to watch.

In addition, Disney+ is much cheaper than Netflix. A subscription to Disney+ costs $6.99 per month, while a Netflix subscription starts at $8.99 per month. For people who are trying to save money, Disney+ is the more appealing option. Though Disney and Netflix have signalled they’re going to push up their prices.

Disney+ has been aggressive in marketing itself as the superior streaming service. The company has run a number of ads that compare its service favorably to Netflix. This has helped convince people to switch to Disney+.

The Disney effect

The Walt Disney Company launched Disney+ on November 12, 2019. The streaming service is available in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico.

As of the second quarter of 2020, Netflix had nearly 221 million subscribers across 190 countries.

Netflix facts

What is the market share of Netflix? In the United States, Netflix has a market share of 37%. That means it is the most popular streaming service in the country.

When was Netflix founded? Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California.

What type of company is Netflix? Netflix is a publicly-traded company. Its stock is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol NFLX.

What is the headquarters of Netflix? The headquarters of Netflix is located in Los Gatos, California.

Disney+ facts

Disney is spending $1 billion per year on its streaming service.

What is the market share of Disney+? In the United States, Disney+ has a market share of 24%.

When was Disney+ launched? Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019.

What type of company is Disney? Disney is a publicly-traded company. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DIS.

How much does Disney stock cost? As of August 2020, the price of one share of Disney stock is $115.76.

What is the headquarters of Disney? The headquarters of Disney is located in Burbank, California.

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Scientists discover dogs can sniff if you’re stressed

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Russia has begun vaccinating animals against COVID-19

Dog’s truely are our best friends and it turns out they really are in tune to our feelings by experiencing their world through smell

Scientists have discovered that dogs can detect stress, by sniffing our breath and sweat

Four dogs volunteered by their owners – were trained to “choose” one of three scent canisters.

And in more than 650 out of 700 trials, they sniffed a sample of sweat or breath that had been taken from a stressed person.

Dog highly sensitive scent-detection abilities are already used to detect drugs, explosives, and illnesses – so they really are paw-some animals

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