Are you Skin Aware? The Importance of having regular skin checks.

By | News

I was lucky enough to score some leave over Christmas & spent time catching up with my extended family on the Gold Coast .

I have 2 younger brothers & although we don’t see each other often ,it’s always great to catch up .

After our initial greetings my youngest brother pulled out his iphone & showed me photos of his recent plastic surgery involving the removal of a large chunk of skin on the tip of his nose because of Basal Cell Cancer –the monstrous defect was closed with a flap of skin from his L cheek & rotated across to fill the gap .The wound was healing well…!!!

He then proceeded to show me a new collection of Basal Cell & Squamous cell cancers( SCC) that had appeared since his “nose job”.  More surgery booked …


My middle brother then lifted his shirt & showed me his latest scar from a recent ( his second) melanoma operation . I quickly scanned his back  at his request & found 3 Basal Cell Cancers(BCC) needing removal  & then as he turned noticed a nasty invasive BCC on his L ear overlying the cartilage just below the upper helical margin of  his ear . Wow…!!

Then I got to thinking- my own skin cancer Doctor had left town 2 yrs earlier & I haven’t had a proper skin check since …Hmmmm.

I did some looking on line , found a reputable clinic nearby & made a booking .

Several days later I walked out of the clinic with the diagnosis of 3 definite BCCs including one on the nostril (ouch ) ,a likely superficial SCC & several indeterminate lesions needing biopsy .

Take home lessons are simple .

1. Don’t neglect your skin –especially as you get older & especially if you are fair skinned & have spent a lot of time outdoors .

2. Skin Cancer in our community is VERY Common , mostly curable , relatively easy to diagnose & is best managed early .

1 in 2 of us will develop a BCC in our lifetime , 1 in 6 of us an SCC & 1 in 14 will develop melanoma . It’s the latter that can be fatal .

Melanoma prognosis is excellent if it is diagnosed & excised prior to the tumour reaching a depth of  0.76 mm. Yes that’s correct –NOT VERY DEEP.Beyond this depth the 5 year survival rates/disease free intervals decline .

3. Sunscreen has an established role in reducing the development of new actinic keratoses  /reducing the risk of these lesions progressing to cancer .

4. Nicotinamine , a vitamin B 3 derivative has a potentially important role in protecting the skin against the development of actinic keratoses ( sun spots ) & may also prevent progression of these  spots into skin cancer .

5. A relatively new cream ( Aldara) can be very useful in managing early superficial cancers without the need for surgery .

6. Photodynamic therapy is showing promise in patients with age related sun damage /actinic keratoses & can be as simple as applying a cleanser,followed by sunscreen ,followed by the active treatment cream ,followed by a couple of hours in the sun …The sun damaged skin /skin lesions then redden ,crust & in ~ 10 days fall off with new skin replacing the old damaged bits .

At McLeod St Medical, we have an interest in the diagnosis & treatment of skin cancer so don’t leave it too late  & please book in for a review if you find anything that doesn’t look right .

We have an operating microscope that doubles as an excellent extra pair of eyes with hard to diagnose skin lesions , along with the latest polarized light  dermatoscopes.

Happy 2019 –stay Sun Safe …  SLIP, SLOP, SLAP.

Dr Cam McLeod

Important changes to National Cervical Screening Program

By | News

Pap Smears are currently changing to the new Cervical Screening Test, due to be implemented on December 1st 2017. Please see the below information and if your PAP is due in November, you may prefer to wait.

The renewed National Cervical Screening Program

The Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program will be implemented on 1 December 2017.
Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented the normal cervical cancer screening program will continue. It is important that women aged between 18-69 years continue to have Pap smears every two years and talk to their doctor if they have any questions.
The two-yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74. Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. The changes include:

  • women will be invited when they are due to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register
  • the Pap smear will be replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test
  • the time between tests will change from two to five years
  • the age at which screening starts will increase from 18 years to 25 years
  • women aged 70 to 74 years will be invited to have an exit test.

Women of any age who have symptoms such as unusual bleeding, discharge and pain should see their health care professional immediately.

HPV vaccinated women still require cervical screening as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.

Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, women aged between 18 and 69 years who have ever been sexually active should continue to have a Pap test when due.

To learn more from your GP or to book your appointment, click the button below.



January Newsletter 2017

By | News

Happy New Year to all of our patients. We hope that 2017 brings forth many wonderful things for you all.

One of our big news items for the beginning of 2017 has been a change in the administrative structure of McLeod Street Medical.  After nearly 20 years, Dr Bruce Bilbe has stepped back from his role as partner, making way for Dr Katherine Holzhauser to come on board, joining Dr Chris Haug, Dr Cathy Meehan and Dr Cameron McLeod in the partnership.  We thank Bruce for all of the wonderful things that he has helped implement here at McLeod St, and look forward to working alongside Katherine in her new role.

Bruce will be taking a very well-earned rest in the wilds of Tasmania until mid-April, however, we do not yet know what his schedule will be upon his return. Watch this space for an update.

On a sadder note, the lovely Dr Erin Eaton has relocated and is now based in Darwin. Erin and her beautiful family are enjoying the wide open spaces and parks up in the NT.  Thankfully, Erin will be doing some locum work with us from time to time when she pops back to Cairns. Please contact our team of receptionists for Erin’s availabilities.

Also, our friendly registrar – Dr Jess Fulton, has relocated as well. Unfortunately for us, Jess’ partner has been transferred to the Gold Coast Hospital.  We are going to miss her smiling face, but wish her all the best for the future.

We look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces of MSM in the near future, and welcome all of the new faces and families for 2017.


Management and Staff at MSM.


Flu Vaccines Available in Cairns 2016

By | News

Our Flu vaccines have arrived! Now is the time to protect yourself and your family. Don’t struggle through another Flu season…

Ring 07 40521 583 to book an appointment with one of our friendly Doctors.

Private vaccine prices as follows:

Trivalent $18.00
Quadrivalent $22.00

Patients over 65 or with certain pre-existing health conditions such as Asthma or heart disease may qualify for a free government flu vaccine. Please discuss with your Doctor at time of consultation to see if you are eligible.


Recommended Childhood Vaccination Schedule

By | News

Why Should You Vaccinate

Vaccine-preventable diseases are still common in many countries. With increased travel and immigration the risks are real.

Babies are vulnerable to serious and life-threatening diseases, this is why we aim to protect babies as early in life as possible.

Therefore it is important that your baby be fully immunised within the first 6 months of life. In Australia, babies start receiving vaccines at birth and again at 6 weeks, 4 months and 6 months of age.

Due dates are important

To be fully protected against preventable diseases, your child will require a full course (often more than 1 dose) of vaccines at critical times.

For the best protection, vaccinations need to occur on time. ‘On time’ means on (or as close as possible to) the due date in accordance with the National Immunisation Program Schedule Queensland. The schedule below, outlines the ages at which your child should be vaccinated to get the earliest and best protection against vaccine-preventable disease.

Vaccination Reminders

The Qld Government has launched a helpful new reminder system for your Mobile device called Vaccidate. Through the use of this app, parents are able to easily access and manage their children’s immunisation schedule, receive reminders on their phone for the next appointment and store a record of vaccinations received for each child.

Click here to download the Vaccidate App


Age Recommended Immunisations
Birth Hepatitis B HBVaxII (paediatric)TM
2 months
(can be given from 6 weeks of age)
Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis)
Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio (poliomyelitis), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus
Infanrix hexaTM
Prevenar 13TM
4 months Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis),
Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio (poliomyelitis), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus
Infanrix hexaTM
Prevenar 13TM
6 months Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis),
Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio (poliomyelitis), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus
Infanrix hexaTM
Prevenar 13TM
12 months Haemophilus influenzae type b, meningococcal C, measles, mumps, rubella MenitorixTM
PriorixTM or M-M-R IITM
18 months Measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox (varicella) Priorix TetraTM
4 years
(can be given at 3 years and 6 months)
Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio (poliomyelitis)

Measles, mumps, rubella (if child has not already had 2 doses of measles-mumps-rubella containing vaccine)

Infanrix IPVTM

PriorixTM or M-M-R IITM

Year 7 and Year 8
(available through School Immunisation Program)
Human papillomavirus, chickenpox (varicella), diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) GardasilTM
VarilrixTM or VarivaxTM
15-65 Years

Adults (over 65 years)


Influenza, pneumococcal disease

Influenza Pneumovax
 *The above  schedule has been taken from the Qld Health Immunization Schedule Guidelines ( *

Exercise Physiologist in Cairns

By | News

What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are recognised allied health professionals who specialise in individualised exercise programs for persons with existing conditions, or those who are at high risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension.

The main aims of the clinical exercise programs are:

  • to prevent or manage chronic disease or injury
  • assist in restoring your optimal physical function, health and wellness
  • provide advice, support and a strong focus on successfully changing lifestyle behaviours.

AEPs display a diverse range of knowledge and skills, enabling them to work across a variety of areas in the health, exercise and sports science fields including the public and private hospitals, workplace health, workplace rehabilitation and aged care.

What to expect in an Exercise physiology session

Each session is tailored to your individual needs/goals and is designed to improve your condition and quality of life. Sessions may be inclusive of cardio exercises and resistance (weight) training, so it is advisable to wear clothing you feel comfortable in whilst exercising and comfortable shoes (joggers are ideal).

Do I need a referral?

If you would like to learn more about the services of AEPs or if you require a referral, please call McLeod Street Medical on 40521583 to make an appointment with your GP.


Dr Tanya McGhee is on Maternity Leave

By | News

Our lovely Dr Tanya McGhee will be leaving us temporarily to enjoy some precious bonding time with the new addition to her family.

We extend our warmest wishes to Tanya and her husband Luke for the safe arrival of their baby and look forward to meeting him or her very soon.

Tanya’s last day with us will be Friday, 8th January 2016.  We hope to welcome her back to McLeod Street Medical in June 2016.

Please contact our friendly receptionists if you have any queries.




Christmas Opening Hours

By | News

Does your Christmas check list cover everything?

  • Good food and good company          
  • Spending time with loved ones        
  • The Gift of Giving                               √
  • Enough of your regular medication to last the holidays  

Just a friendly reminder that we will be closed from 3 p.m Christmas Eve, Thursday 24th December through to Tuesday 29th December at 8 a.m.  

Please check your scripts to ensure that you will have enough medication to see you through the holidays.

Please call our friendly receptionists on 40 521 583 to arrange an appointment if you are running low on medication.

The Doctors, Nurses and Reception Staff wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2016.

Welcome Back Dr Erin

By | News

Our lovely Dr Erin has returned from maternity leave.  She will be working 2 sessions per week at this stage, hopefully building up to more sessions in the future.

We delighted to have her back on board.

Please call our friendly receptionists to arrange an appointment.

Overseas Travel Vaccinations: Travel Health – An Investment in Peace of Mind

By | News

Are you heading overseas? Are your vaccinations up to date?

Nobody wants to be ill whilst on holidays, so taking a few simple precautions before you travel can mean the difference between a dream holiday and a nightmare trip. IMG_0603
Planning a holiday is exciting,  stressful and rewarding all at the same time.  But sometimes the pressure of organising a trip can lead to important things being overlooked; for example vaccinations and adequate medications.

Remember your trip for the right reasons.

Did you know that there is about a 1 in 2 chance that you may suffer from a travel-related illness?

Many health problems that travellers face are avoidable.  A little pre-planning and advice from your healthcare professional can provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding your travel health. This may include ensuring you have the appropriate immunisations required for your area of travel (eg yellowfever, typhoid), ensuring you have enough of your medications to last the length of your trip and precautions to take to maximise your protection.

Each traveller and their journey is unique, and will present with it’s own set of health problems. Providing your Doctor with the specifics of your trip, including where and when you are going, how long you will be staying and who you are travelling with, enables your Doctor to determine the correct travel health advice and appropriate vaccinations are given.

McLeod Street Medical stocks the following travel vaccines and preventative health measures including Yellow Fever, Typhoid (Oral or Injection), Cholera(Dukoral), Japanese Encephalitis, Meningococcal,  Rabies, Hepatitis A and B, Malarone, Travel Kits and Repel Insect repellent.

Arrange a travel health check with your GP at least 6 weeks prior to departure to ensure that you are getting the full benefits of any vaccinations or medications that you may require. (Some vaccinations may require multiple doses.)

5 tips to follow to avoid food and water-borne diseases:

  • Only drink purified or bottled water
  • Avoid ice in drinks (freezing preserves germs rather than killing them)
  • Boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it
  • Brush your teeth with purified water
  • Get vaccinated before departure to help minimise the risk.


Call McLeod Street Medical on 07 4052 1583 and ask for a Travel Consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Doctors.