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Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Angelina Jolie factor

Gavin LeSueur - December 26, 2013

The US Preventative Services health guide (USPSTF) has recently released an update on the recommendations regarding the BRCA gene and genetic testing.

Angelina Jolie’s preventative surgery has bought the testing process into mainstream media and we all need to be aware of what the availability of genetic testing for cancer risk entails.

It is currently recommended that Doctors screen women who have family members with breast, ovarian, tubal, or peritoneal cancer and who may carry an increased risk for potentially harmful mutations in breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2). Women with positive family history screening results should receive genetic counseling and, if indicated after counseling, BRCA testing.

The USPSTF recommends against routine genetic counseling or BRCA testing for women whose family history is not associated with an increased risk for potentially harmful mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

The decision on an ‘at risk’ family history is made in consultation with your Doctor.

Your ultimate choice

Gavin LeSueur - December 16, 2013

As the holiday season rolls in I sit back and think about suitable topics to discuss that are ‘timely’. Christmas and the festive season brings it’s own inherent risks that impact on health but most are not going to determine the quality and quantity of the life that is in your control. The medical system is only as good as your ability and desire to avail yourself to it. If you don’t get a check up in a timely fashion then many preventable and treatable problems will eventually occur.

Ultimately the choice about being healthy is yours.

Medicine has a success rate of zero. We all die, most from heart disease, about a third from cancer and a few from accidents. But the health system is designed to support quality and quantity of life. If you only ever go to the Doctor when you are sick then you are really not making the most of the opportunities available to make a difference in how and how long you live.

There is no magic out there. You would consider it a bit daft to drive your car until it breaks down and then tow it to the mechanic. Yet that is how many people use the health system.

So my festive season advice is consider an annual tune up. Use the holiday time as a reminder, and the opportunity, to do a health checkup. That, bottom line, is what eDoc is about. Your choice.

Up in smoke. We can do better.

Gavin LeSueur - December 5, 2013
When is the best time to stop smoking?  Now.

How do I stop?  Don’t buy them. Don’t light one and do no put one in your month. That is called stopped.

I love this quote from 50 years ago.
“if cigarettes keep going up in price I’m going to have to quit. 20 cents a pack is ridiculous!’

The price on your pocket remains ridiculous but the price on your health is horrendous.

There has never been a better time to quit smoking, so join the 230,000 Australians that have already downloaded the National Tobacco Campaign’s award winning My QuitBuddy* free smartphone app and get the support you need right now – 24/7!

Smoking trends

The 2011–12 National Health Survey confirms the consistent downward trend in smoking rates for those aged 18 years and over, with the rate in 2011–12 of 16% being below the rates of 19% in 2007–08, 21% in 2004–05 and 22% in 2001 (Figure 2.12).

Rates of daily smoking were higher for males (18%) than for females (14%) in 2011–12, although male rates have declined at a slightly faster rate since 2001.

Become a statistic. Join those who have successfully quit.

figure-2.12 Daily smoking in Australia, by sex, 2001, 2004-05, 2007–08 and 2011–12. Figure 2.12 shows the drop in the proportion of people that smoked daily over the four National Health Survey years 2001, 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2011-12
Figure 2.12: Daily smoking in Australia, by sex, 2001, 2004-05, 2007–08 and 2011–12 



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