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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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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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05/05/2020 Health NewsNews

Preventative care

Preventative health care is important. Screening programs at your doctors are designed for people without any signs or symptoms. Therefore it is important to keep your doctors appointments for any health checks even when you feel healthy.

Why regular health checks are important

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

Health checks for older people

As you get older, keeping an eye on your health becomes more important. Speak to your doctor about:

  • abdominal aortic aneurysm screening – former and current smokers (particularly older men) can consider having an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms, a blood-filled bulge in a major blood vessel in your abdomen called the aorta
  • blood pressure screening – every year. If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often
  • bowel cancer screening – a simple test for signs of bowel cancer is recommended once every two years if you are over 50
  • cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention – every five years if levels are normal. If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often
  • diabetes screening – every three years. If you are overweight and have other risk factors for diabetes, ask your doctor if you should be screened more often
  • lung cancer screening – for current smokers and those who have quit within the past 15 years
  • osteoporosis screening – if you have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should check with your doctor about screening. Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use or a family history of osteoporosis
  • a physical exam – every year or as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor will check and record your weight, height and body mass index (BMI).

Speak to your doctor about immunisation:

  • a pneumococcal vaccine – every 5 years
  • an annual flu shot
  • a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster every 10 years
  • a shingles or herpes zoster vaccine.

Health Checks with other health professionals may include:

  • Dental  – every 6 months
  • Eye test – yearly if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk
  • Hearing test – if you have symptoms of hearing loss.

Regular health checks for adults

Regular health checks can help to identify early warning signs of disease or illness. Heart disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, with a more successful treatment plan.

When you have a check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family’s history of disease and your lifestyle. Your diet, weight, how much you exercise, and whether or not you smoke and drink alcohol or take illegal drugs will also be discussed.

If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a condition, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease. Regular checks may help your doctor pick up early warning signs.

  • If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks at an earlier age.
  • Your GP may also recommend other tests based on your family history, your medical history or current symptoms. Depending on the results of those tests, your doctor may then want to provide a course of treatment, investigate further or refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Where to get help

Meet our GP doctors:

References:

Health checks by age: the tests you should be having https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/health-care/treatments-and-procedures/health-checks-by-age-the-tests-you-should-be-having

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/regular-health-checks

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/manage-your-health-in-your-40s

https://www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/red-book/preventive-activities-in-middle-age


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12/04/2020 Health NewsNews
Image source from freepik

Flu Shot

Winter is coming….so is the flu. The vaccine prepares and boosts your immune system to help fight the flu but not the coronavirus if you are exposed to it. This will reduce your risk of influenza which kills hundreds of people.

Department of Health has recommended you get vaccinated prior to the peak of the flu season, which starts from mid-April to August.  The most effective way to protect yourself and your family is book in for an appointment with your GP for the flu shot.

To book in for flu shot please call us on 8604 2338 or book online: click here- Health Engine.

Why is the flu vaccine free for some people?

The  National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule has provided free flu for some groups of people who are considered at increased risk of complications :

  1. Pregnant Woman
  2. Chronic Disease (eg Asthma)
  3. Over 6 months of age
  4. 65 years and older
  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over 6 months of age.

Signs and symptoms include:

This can go on for some weeks. Children may also have abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

If your symptoms get worse, see a doctor. You should seek help straight away if you feel chest pain, short of breath, dizzy or confused, or you are vomiting a lot. During this time it is important to take care of yourself by resting, keeping warm, drink lots of fluids and eat light non oily food when hungry.

References:

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/why-getting-your-flu-shot-in-april-2020-will-help-in-the-fight-against-covid-19

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/influenza-a-flu

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-immunisation-program

The Flu Vaccine, the_gp_mum

 

 


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25/03/2020 Health NewsNews

Coronovirus news

It’s been a stressful time all around the world as we deal with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the uncertainty it brings. What life will look like over the next few months has changed and you might be feeling anxious about what this means.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. Find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19 from below reference links.

Good tips to prevent you from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hand
  • Avoid crowds and stay at home,
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Do not panic
  • Eat healthy

Reference:

Coping during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://au.reachout.com/collections/coping-during-coronavirushttps://au.reachout.com/collections/coping-during-coronavirus

COVID-19 support

https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19

Australia Government Health Department

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19

How To Avoid Covid-19: The Best Tips To Stay Healthy and Sanitised

https://sg.asiatatler.com/society/how-to-avoid-covid-19-tips-to-stay-sanitised

https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus#update16

https://www.racgp.org.au/running-a-practice/technology/clinical-technology/teleheath


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29/01/2020 Health NewsNews

Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. Non-melanoma skin cancer is more common in men, with almost double the incidence compared to women. Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer,* melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australians

Everybody is free to wear! It looks like warmer sunnier days are on which is a good opportunity to talk about sunscreen. It’s time for prevention.

First, let’s talk about UV rays. Sunlight is made up of different wavelengths of light. The most damaging are UVA and UVB radiation. UVA penetrates deeper and is thought to be responsible for skin ageing e.g. wrinkles, pigmentation. UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn.


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Back pain is common! It is a physical discomfort occurring anywhere on the spine or back, ranging from mild to disabling. Most people will experience it at the dome stage in their lives. While it can be debilitating, there is a lot you can do to help. Common causes of back pain include being overweight, heavy lifting, poor structure, being sedentary, prolonged sitting and lying down, wearing a poorly fitting backpack or sudden awkward movements.

Estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimate about 4.0 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives.


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26/11/2019 Health NewsNews

Ending of the year is very exciting and full of celebrations and trips. Travelling with the family is exciting but can be stressful! A well-planned first aid kit can be invaluable when unexpected mishaps occur and can save you money and precious holiday time.

Here a list of items for you to consider before you set off:


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15/11/2019 Health News

We would like to raise awareness to our patients, their families and communities about men’s health in this month. Movember (a portmanteau of the Australian-English diminutive word for moustache, “mo”, and “November”) is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.


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