Health News

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Bowel cancer mostly affects people over the age of 50, but recent evidence suggests it is on the rise among younger Australians.

Our study found bowel cancer incidence is falling in older Australians. This is likely, in part, to reflect the efficacy of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, targeted at those aged 50–74 to screen for bowel cancer using a free, simple test at home. Bowel cancer screening acts to reduce cancer incidence, by detecting and removing precancerous lesions, as well as reducing mortality by detecting existing cancers early.

Why bowel screening is important

Bowel cancer often develops without any symptoms. The cancer can grow in the bowel for years before spreading to other parts of the body. Very small amounts of blood can leak from these growths and pass into your faeces (poo). These tiny amounts of blood are not noticeable just by looking. The bowel screening test is called an immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT). It can detect these tiny amounts of blood in your poo.

What are symptoms of bowel cancer?

  • Blood in your poo or rectal bleeding
  • A recent, persistent change in bowel habit (e.g. diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling or incomplete emptying)
  • A change in the shape or appearance of your poo (e.g. narrower poos or mucus in poo)
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Pain or a lump in the anus or rectum
  • Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness, weakness or weight loss

Can bowel cancer be prevented?

While there’s no way to prevent bowel cancer completely, several diet and lifestyle choices can lower your bowel cancer risk:

  • Keep physically active for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Reduce alcohol intake to no more than 2 standard drinks per day, or avoid it altogether.
  • Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese in your daily diet, with at least 2 serves per day.
  • Include wholegrains and fibre, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts.
  • Limit red meat consumption to 500 grams cooked per week and avoid processed meat altogether.
  • Quit smoking and avoid breathing in tobacco smoke.

When should I see my doctor?

  • See your doctor or healthcare professional if you have blood in your stool, unexplained changes in your bowel habits, tiredness, abdominal pain or any other symptoms that may indicate bowel cancer.
  • Since bowel cancer can develop with few signs early on, you should also speak with your doctor if you know of any pre-existing risk factors, or if you are concerned about getting it later in life.

Please refer to below links for more details:

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/what%E2%80%99s-behind-the-increase-in-bowel-cancer-among-y

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bowel-cancer

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-bowel-cancer-screening-program/about-the-national-bowel-cancer-screening-program

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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AstraZeneca vaccine Phase 2A updated 17th May 2021

Who qualifies :

  • People aged 50 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16-49 years
  • Other critical and high risk workers

There have been changes to the advice around the COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine is now preferred to the AstraZeneca vaccine for adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on:

  • the higher risk that older people have of getting really sick from COVID-19
  • and the potentially higher risk of people under 50 years developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine. This is a rare syndrome that involves blood clots.

ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) have clearly said that the AstraZeneca vaccine can still be used in adults under 50 years. This will be the case:

  • where the benefits of being vaccinated are higher than the risks of this rare condition,
  • and where the patient has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits (an informed consent).

Everyone who has already had their first AstraZeneca vaccine dose with no serious side effects can receive their second dose.

Common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine usually last a couple of days, such as feeling mildly sick, having a sore arm, headache or fever.

Advice for people with weakened immune systems (immunocompromise)

People with immunocompromise includes those who have a medical condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system. People with immunocompromise, including those living with HIV, have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including a higher risk of severe illness and death.

The Australian Government strongly recommends people with immunocompromise receive a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca does not behave like a ‘live vaccine’. The adenovirus carrier has been modified so that it cannot replicate or spread to other cells, and it cannot cause infection. It is safe in people with immunocompromise.

What is this side effect that everyone is talking about associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine?

According to available data, symptoms of this rare syndrome usually came up between 4 to 20 days after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It usually appears as a headache that doesn’t go away with pain medication (like paracetamol or ibuprofen), vomiting, confusion and/or seizures.

People should seek medical attention immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • severe persistent headache
  • neurological symptoms (blurred vision, difficulty with speech, drowsiness, seizures)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • swelling in your leg
  • persistent abdominal (belly) pain
  • tiny blood spots under the skin away from the site of injection.

There is evidence of a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia).

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

Yes. The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age. This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of this very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age. ATAGI has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged 50 years and over.

I have had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, what do I do now?

If you have had your first vaccine dose without this side effect or other serious adverse effects, you should receive your second dose booked in with us at 12 weeks.

What if I am worried about side effects?

If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, Please book an appointment to see your regular GP.

I’m booked in for my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, what do I do?

If you are an adult aged over 50 years, you should only receive a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine where the benefit of receiving the vaccine clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance. You may wish to discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor.

Information about how to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available on the Department of Health website shortly.

For further information please contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 1800 020 080

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/astrazeneca-and-pfizer-what-are-the-side-effects-f

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/learn-about-covid-19-vaccines/about-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough outbreaks can occur in a community at any time of year but are more likely in autumn and winter during cold and flu season. To prevent any outbreak, it is important to be vaccinated – whooping cough vaccination.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Symptoms that include fever and long periods of coughing that sound like a ‘whoop’. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but it is most serious in babies under the age of 12 months, particularly in the first few months.

Whooping cough symptoms include:

  • blocked or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • raised temperature
  • uncontrolled bouts of coughing that sounds like a ‘whoop’ or are followed by a ‘whooping’ noise
  • vomiting after coughing.

Symptoms usually start about 7 to 10 days after catching whooping cough, with a cold, blocked or runny nose, coughing and a mild fever.

Whooping cough is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and you breathe it in. The bacteria infect the lining of the airways, mainly the windpipe (trachea) and the 2 airways that branch off from it to the lungs (the bronchi). There is a build-up of thick mucus. This mucus causes the intense bouts of coughing as the body tries to cough it up. The bacteria also cause the airways to swell up, making them narrower than usual. As a result, breathing is made difficult, which causes the ‘whoop’ sound as the person gasps for breath after a bout of coughing.

Whooping cough can be prevented with vaccination. Treatment includes antibiotics.

If you have close contact with someone who has whooping cough, your doctor may give you antibiotics to prevent you getting infected.

Whooping cough is a serious disease because it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and sometimes death.

See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you or your child may have whooping cough.

Please refer to below links for more details:

https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/whooping-cough-pertussis

https://www.healthline.com/health/pertussis

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/whooping-cough

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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01/03/2021 Health News

Ovarian Cancer

2021 is the year we celebrate 20 years of improving support and awareness for ovarian cancer and making incremental progress in care and treatment.

February is Australia’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness of signs and symptoms and to highlight the risk factors for ovarian cancer.

In 2016, 1289 new cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed in Australian women. The risk of being diagnosed before age 85 is 1 in 85.

In 2018, there were 968 deaths caused by ovarian cancer in Australia.

The five year survival rate for ovarian cancer is 45.7%.

 What is ovarian cancer?

Ovarian cancer occurs in female organs(ovary) when cells in one or both ovaries become abnormal, grow out of control and form a lump called a maglignant tumour.

The ovaries are typically a pair of  essential organs in the female reproductive system located in each side of the uterus. They produce eggs and hormones

Sometimes an ovarian tumour is diagnosed as borderline (also known as a low malignant potential tumour). This is not considered to be cancer.

Ovarian cancer symptoms

Ovarian cancer can go undetected until it has spread within pelvis and stomach. Often this cancer can be difficult to diagnosed as it has no symptoms in early stages. Here are some symptoms you may experience one or more of the following:

  • abdominal bloating
  • difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
  • frequent or urgent urination
  • back, abdominal or pelvic pain
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • menstrual irregularities
  • tiredness
  • indigestion
  • pain during intercourse
  • unexplained weight loss or weight gain.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your local doctor.

What causes ovarian cancer?

The causes of most cases of ovarian cancer are unknown, but some factors below can increase the risk include:

  • age – risk increases in women over 50 and in women who have stopped having periods (have been through menopause), and the risk increases with age
  • genetic factors  up to 20% of serous ovarian cancers (the most common subtype) are linked to an inherited faulty gene, and a smaller proportion of other types of ovarian cancer are also related to genetic faults
  • family history – family history of diagnosed with ovarian, breast, bowel or uterine cancers & Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • endometriosis  this condition is caused by tissue from the lining of the uterus growing outside the uterus
  • reproductive history  women who have not had children, who have had assisted reproduction, or who have had children over the age of 35 may be slightly more at risk
  • lifestyle factors  some types of ovarian cancer have been linked to smoking or being overweight
  • hormonal factors  such as early puberty or late menopause. Some studies suggest that menopause hormone therapy (MHT), previously called hormone replacement therapy (HRT), may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, but the evidence is not clear.

Some factors reduce the risk of developing ovarian cancer. These include having children before the age of 35; breastfeeding; using the combined oral contraceptive pill for several years; and having your fallopian tubes tied (tubal ligation) or removed.

Diagnosis of ovarian cancer

If you are experiencing possible symptoms of ovarian cancer your doctor may suggest several tests or scans to look for cysts, tumours or other changes. These may include:

Physical examination

  • In which the doctor will check your abdomen for any lumps and do an internal vaginal examination.

Blood tests

  • To check for a common tumour marker for ovarian cancer, CA125.

Pelvic ultrasound

  • A pelvic ultrasound uses echoes from soundwaves to create a picture of your ovaries and uterus.

CT scan

  • A CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-rays to take images of the inside of your body to check for cancer and to see if it has spread.

PET scan

  • A PET (positron emission tomography) scan highlights abnormal tissues in the body.

 Why regular health checks are important

It is a good idea to visit a doctor regularly, even if you feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:

  • check for current or emerging medical problems
  • assess your risk of future medical issues
  • prompt you to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • update vaccinations.

Health checks are usually incorporated into routine medical care. Your doctor will often perform these checks when you are visiting for another condition, such as a cold or another problem. Your doctor will then tell you how often you need to have a health check.

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:

Would like to see a GP ?

Book easily online on Health Engine https://healthengine.com.au/medical-centre/nsw/castle-hill/familywise-medical-practice/s42733, or give us a call on 8660 2100 or 4039 6130

 


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14/02/2021 Miscellaneous

Familywise Medical Practice together with doctors, nurses, and receptionists would like to wish you a Happy Lunar New Year. The year of the ox brings career advancement, success in business, prosperity, and wellness for all zodiac signs. This year predicts new career opportunities, so don’t let anxiety or negative thinking affect you.

Happy New Year – Gong Hii Fatt Choi.

Would like to see a GP ?

Book easily online on Health Engine https://healthengine.com.au/medical-centre/nsw/castle-hill/familywise-medical-practice/s42733, or give us a call on 8660 2100 or 4039 6130

 


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It’s been a great summer, but it’s time to get everyone back in the groove of classes, sports practice — and getting up early again. Here are some tips to help your kids make a healthy transition back to school.

1.Get Bedtimes back on track

Getting a good night’s sleep is not only important for a child’s growth and development, it’s also key to their health and wellbeing. How much is enough? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 9-12 hours of shut-eye for children aged 6-12 years, and 8-10 hours for kids aged 13-18 years. To help them ease back into the habit of going to bed early, try keeping a consistent schedule, creating a relaxing nighttime routine and powering down all electronics at least an hour before bed time. Discover more ways to help your child sleep well here

2.Tricks and tips for nutritious school lunches

Research from the University of Adelaide has tracked, 430 children aged nine to 10 years almost half of the kids energy consumption was high fat intake; (salt, sugar, fat) junk and processed food.  Premade snacks and junk food may look like ideal options during that early morning rush but they are not a healthy option. Not just for your kid but you too.

Ensure lunch boxes, be replaced with nutritious food such as fresh fruits, veggies, salads, sandwiches,yougurt, whole grains, or homemade muffins.

If you have no idea where to start, the Nutrition Australia has a workshop about smart eating recipes to help you enjoy healthy eating.

3.Health Checks & Vaccines

Before the start of another school year, see to it that you and your kid (s) visit your doctor for annual health check-ups. This is to identify any early signs of health issues so that they can be treated before they develop into a major problem. Sometimes the school will require you to provide up to date medical record and a vaccination report.

Some of the check-ups you should consider carrying out include eyesight and hearing exams, dental check-ups, height and weight checks and skin checks.

Have them take the recommended vaccines and flu shots as well. Disease outbreaks and flu seasons are inevitable nowadays and you will have peace of mind knowing they are safe from that vaccine-preventable illness or flu.

4.Embrace Physical Fitness

Walking kids to school instead of dropping them off can be a great way for establishing healthy habits together.

“There are so many benefits of daily exercise for children:  from improved concentration and better self-confidence to stronger muscles and bones. Research also suggests that physical activity helps to reduce the risk of children developing health problems in later life.”

I hope these four back-to-school health tips will help you and your little ones have a healthy and happy school year.

 

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/back-to-school-health-

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sleep-tips-for-children

https://nutritionaustralia.org/app/uploads/2020/05/

 

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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09/12/2020 Miscellaneous

Familywise Medical Practice together with doctors, nurses, and receptionists during Holiday Season more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. Thank you for trusting on us to take care of you and your family, and allowing us to be a part of your health care. And in this spirit we say, simply but sincerely..

Thank you and Best Wishes for Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

Would like to see a GP before year end?

Book easily online on Health Engine https://healthengine.com.au/medical-centre/nsw/castle-hill/familywise-medical-practice/s42733, or give us a call on 8660 2100 or 4039 6130

 


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19/10/2020 Health News

October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is estimated that 19,800 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia this year. Our practice would like to raise more awareness of breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) this year 3,000 will lose their life – 8 every day. In Australia, 55 Australians are diagnosed every day. Screening programs are designed for people without any signs or symptoms. Early detection will save lifes.


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11/08/2020 Health News

One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 years will experience mental health conditions at some point in their life. The most common conditions are:

  • anxiety
  • affective disorders, especially depression
  • substance use disorders, especially alcohol use

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Please call us on (02) 8660 2100 for after hours service.We're open again on Wednesday (08/12/2021) from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm