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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Why kids should play sport

Gavin LeSueur - June 20, 2013

Why play sports? You might say “to get exercise” and you’d be right. To have fun? That’s true, too. But there’s more.   Here is two good reasons.

  1. Children who play sports do better in school. You might think that athletics will take up all your study time. But research shows that children who play sports do better in school than those who don’t. Exercise improves learning, memory, and concentration, which can give active children an advantage in the classroom.
  2. Children who play sports learn teamwork and goal-setting skills. Sports teaches valuable life skills. When you working with coaches, trainers, and teammates to win games and achieve goals, you’re learning how to be successful. Those skills will serve you well at work and in family life.

And here are three more!

  1. Sports are good for childrens health. In addition to being fit and maintaining a healthy weight, children who play sports are also less likely to smoke. And later in life, girls who exercise are less likely to get breast cancer or osteoporosis.
  2. Playing sports boosts self-confidence. Children who play sports feel better about themselves. Why? It builds confidence when you know you can practice, improve, and achieve your goals. Sports are also a feel-good activity because they help kids get in shape, maintain a healthy weight, and make new friends.
  3. Exercise cuts the pressure. Playing sports can lessen stress and help you feel a little happier. How? The brain chemicals released during exercise improve a person’s mood. Friends are another mood-lifter. And being on a team creates tight bonds between friends. It’s good to know your teammates will support you — both on and off the field!

Actually, everyone should play a sport of some sort. The above is true for adults too!

Testing times

Gavin LeSueur - June 6, 2013

When you go to the Doctor for a check-up do they go through your health habits, family history and past medical history to determine what the ‘check-up’ should entail?

We all know that prevention is a vital part of your health care. Medical tests are an important part of preventative activities but you need to be aware that not all tests are infallible as some have high false-positive or false-negative rates. Some tests do not have sufficient evidence of producing a benefit in apparently healthy people and some tests have good evidence of harm from over-diagnosis.

It is very important that any tests performed are supported by guidelines for which there is a strong evidence base. When tests are ordered for you ensure you are part of the decision making process so that they are appropriate.

So, why should a health website be telling you this? The simple reason is when patients come to see me for a ‘check-up’ quite often I have to educate and sometimes talk them out of having some tests. There are two very popular test ‘requests’ that I receive. They are the prostate and the bowel cancer screening tests. To explain the difference in how these tests work I will compare and contrast them.

Both bowel and prostate cancer are significant health problems. The natural history of bowel cancer is well understood but with prostate cancer there pattern can be very slow through to aggressive.
Bowel cancer has a clearly recognizable early stage but the early stage for prostate cancer is not well understood. Early treatment for both cancers are available and beneficial but for Prostate cancer there is no suitable test to distinguish between the types. The commonly requested PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test is non-specific and a positive result can indicate numerous conditions. Current evidence suggests that the potential harm outweighs the benefit of the PSA test as a population screening tool in healthy individuals.

In contrast to the PSA test, the FOBT (Faecal Occult Blood Test) shows a definite benefit for early identification and removal of potentially cancerous grows in the colon in people with no symptoms.

Ensure your Doctor takes the time to determine what is right for you when it comes to a ‘Check-up’. Be informed. Doing an eDoc.net health screen will put the science and guidelines into action for your benefit.

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