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Monthly Archives: March 2011

The FOB test? A must for everyone 50 and over.

Gavin LeSueur - March 17, 2011

Bowel cancer is the commonest internal cancer. It can be prevented by the eradication of polyps and over 90% of bowel cancers can be cured if detected early. Polyps are areas of overgrowth of the bowel lining.
A simple bowel cancer screening tool – called the FOB (Faecal Occult Blood) test is recommended for people with no symptoms from the age of 50, repeated every two years until age 75.
Some people have an increased risk (family history) and the time of starting the FOB test may be earlier or other screening techniques recommended (like a Doctor have a look inside the bowel – called a ‘colonoscopy’).
A digital rectal exam (gloved finger up your bottom) is not a recommended screening tool for bowel cancer but is part of the investigation should you present with a positive result. In most cases if you have a positive result then the reason for the bleeding needs to be determined and usually this involves a colonoscopy.
The FOB test is pretty simple to do and does not involve anything more than taking a small scraping from some faeces that you catch on toilet paper or a disposable liner in the toilet bowel.

An Apple or an Aspirin a day?

Gavin LeSueur - March 3, 2011

The simple answer is the first definitely and the second possibly. Following the healthy diet pyramid, three pieces of fruit a day helps maintain a dietary balance. An apple is a quick, nutritious and healthy snack.
Aspirin is also recommended for certain at risk groups. Your Doctor should consider the benefit of aspirin in lowering the risk of heart attack in men and for lowering the risk of stroke for women. Yes – the benefits differ for men and women! When the evidence was assessed the the potential harms were also reviewed – like aspiring causing bleeding in the stomach. The risks also vary for men and women and at different ages and with other factors (like other medications or medical conditions)
Taking into account the potential benefits and harms, thePreventative health task force recommends the following:

If you’re a man who is 45 to 79 years old, you should talk to your doctor to determine whether the benefits of taking aspirin to prevent a heart attack outweigh the potential harms.
If you’re a woman who is 55 to 79 years old, you should talk to your doctor to determine whether the benefits of taking aspirin to prevent a stroke outweigh the potential harms.
These recommendations help you and your Doctor make informed decisions about what you can do to stay healthy.

It’s important for men and women to ask questions about their risks for heart attack and stroke. Understanding more about your risk for cardiovascular disease can help you take steps to reduce your risk and possibly prevent heart problems or stroke.

eDoc has created separate checklists for men and women that highlight which preventive services they should get and when they should get them, based on the recommendations from the major preventative health task forces in the US, Australia, UK and New Zealand.

Be informed. Know about Apples and Aspirin

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