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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH – OCTOBER 2019

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In Australia all women have at least a 1 in 11 (9%) chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 75 years.  The best screening test we have currently is a mammogram.  Mammograms are free to women aged 40-74 every 2 years.  Breastscreen target women aged 50-70 because abnormalities are more likely to be picked up in this age group.  A mammogram is an x-ray where the breast tissue is placed between two plates,  it is not a pleasant examination but often is tolerated better than women think.  The x-ray is then reviewed for abnormalities.

If you have any breast symptoms – a new lump, skin change, nipple discharge, lumps under the armpits, apparent eczema on the nipple, breast tenderness or are simply concerned about breast cancer then please see your GP.  You should have a breast examination and then be sent for the appropriate radiological investigation (like an ultrasound or mammogram or biopsy) if needed.  Breastscreen prefer to see women who have NO symptoms – hence it is a screening test.

Only a small percentage of breast cancer is heritable – so for most women who develop breast cancer they will have NO family history.  Men can also develop breast cancer but their risk is about 100 times less than a women’s risk.   Remember healthy habits like having a balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables, limited alcohol, no smoking, plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce your risk of breast cancer.  If you have had augmentation surgery you can still have a mammogram.  The pressure put on the x-ray plates is reduced to prevent any implant damage.  Otherwise an ultrasound can be performed.

To contact Breastscreen to start your 2 yearly mammograms and reminders please call 13 20 50 or see their website www.breastscreen.qld.gov.au.  If you are concerned about any breast symptoms then please see your GP.

Dr Tanya McGhee.

ABDOMINAL PAIN IN CHILDREN “SORE TUMMY”

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Many children present with a “sore tummy”.  The cause varies from mild issues such as a short lived gastroenteritis to something more severe.   The most common cause of a sore tummy is a viral gastroenteritis or tummy bug.  In this case your child is slightly off their food but still drinking and passing plenty of urine and may have some diarrhoea and or vomiting.  They should be back to their normal selves by 2-3 days.  If your child consistently complains of a sore tummy over several days and in particular if it means they aren’t able to attend school or daycare, it is definitely worth seeing your GP to check things out.

Red flags (that is – bad stuff to not miss and come in to see us or another GP or hospital) to look for in abdominal pain in children include:

  1. Severe pain – where the child is doubled over in pain and very teary and not eating or drinking. This could be surgical problem like appendicitis – especially if over the right lower side of the tummy.  Please see your GP today.
  2. Pain with a high fever, this may indicate a viral infection like mesenteric adenitis, where the glands of the gut become inflamed and cause pain. Abdominal pain in children can also be caused by other infections – so tonsillitis or ear infections weirdly can present with tummy pain.  Urinary tract infections and kidney issues can cause tummy pain with fever too.  See your GP in the next 24-48 hours.
  3. While not very interesting, this a very very common cause of tummy pain-  Constipation isn’t so much children not going very often but moreover the straining and effort involved.  So a child can pass a bowel movement every 3 days and if it’s soft and sausage like, this is normal. But if it is painful and they often avoid defecating and the result is pellet like (like a sheep dropping) then this is constipation.   This is important to see your GP (non urgently) and start treating.
  4. Pain on school mornings can be associated with anxiety with not wanting to go to school. This is a very common scenario and we need to rule out tummy causes and then treat the school related anxiety.  See your GP non urgently.
  5. An unwell child with abdominal pain can also be some other rare causes like type 1 Diabetes or masses in the tummy. Again, please see your GP.

At the end of the day you know your own child best and if they are unhappy then please ring us up.  If your child is very unwell or you are very worried please tell the reception staff and we would be more than happy to fit them in on the day for a review.

Dr Tanya McGhee

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

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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 …

Confronting…!!

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

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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.

 

BOOK APPOINTMENT

January Newsletter 2017

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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.

Regards,

Management and Staff at MSM.

 

Flu Vaccines Available in Cairns 2016

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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

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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

 

AgeRecommended Immunisations
Vaccine
BirthHepatitis BHBVaxII (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
RotaTeqTM
4 monthsHepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis),
Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio (poliomyelitis), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus
Infanrix hexaTM
Prevenar 13TM
RotaTeqTM
6 monthsHepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis),
Haemophilus influenzae type b, polio (poliomyelitis), pneumococcal disease, rotavirus
Infanrix hexaTM
Prevenar 13TM
RotaTeqTM
12 monthsHaemophilus influenzae type b, meningococcal C, measles, mumps, rubellaMenitorixTM
PriorixTM or M-M-R IITM
18 monthsMeasles, 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
BoostrixTM
15-65 Years

Adults (over 65 years)

Influennza

Influenza, pneumococcal disease

Influenza Pneumovax
 *The above  schedule has been taken from the Qld Health Immunization Schedule Guidelines (www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/immunisation/schedule/default.asp) *

Exercise Physiologist in Cairns

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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

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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

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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.