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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Flushed? Hormone therapy and menopause

Gavin LeSueur - June 25, 2018

As a family General practitioner consulting daily I am often asked by well women going through the menopause about Hormone Replacement Therapy. I start my counseling session with “Well… menopause is a normal part of life and there is a place for hormone therapy but ….”

The correct status is that the preventative health bodies recommend against the routine use of combined estrogen and progestin for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women.

The rationale behind this is that there is good evidence that the use of combined estrogen and progestin results in both benefits and harms. Benefits include reduced risk for fracture (good evidence) and colorectal cancer (fair evidence). Combined estrogen and progestin has no beneficial effect on coronary heart disease and may even pose an increased risk (good evidence). Other harms include increased risk for breast cancer (good evidence), venous thromboembolism (good evidence), stroke (fair evidence), cholecystitis (fair evidence), dementia (fair evidence), and lower global cognitive function (fair evidence).

Because of insufficient evidence the preventative health groups could not assess the effects of combined estrogen and progestin on the incidence of ovarian cancer, mortality from breast cancer or coronary heart disease, or all-cause mortality. The conclusion is that the harmful effects of combined estrogen and progestin are likely to exceed the chronic disease prevention benefits in most women.

Please be aware that this discussion is for normal lifecyle menopause without severe symptoms. Surgical or early menopause, debilitating symptoms and all the health factors that make a person an individual mean that any decision to consider hormone therapy needs to be made in careful consultation with your personal Doctor.

Does the’ slop’ in ‘slip slop slap’ really work?

Gavin LeSueur - June 7, 2018

‘Slip slop slap’ has been the advice I have been giving to prevent skin cancer for many years. The ‘slop’ bit – sunscreen use – has just been scientifically provent to prevent potentially deadly melanoma in an Australian study. For over 20 years I have been removing skin cancers on a daily basis and Melanoma are the ones that cause early death in many cases.
More than 1,600 residents from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast took part in the trial, which ran for four years. Half applied 15-plus sunscreen on their arms, face and neck every day. The other group used it on and off.
After 15 years, there were twice the number of melanomas in the group members who applied sunscreen now and then, compared to the daily use group.
“We found that the group which was randomised for regular sun block use had 11, while in the group that was randomised for sporadic sunblock use [there were] 22 cases of melanoma,” Professor Green said.
Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, with about 10,000 diagnosed with melanoma each year.

Researchers say the findings reinforce the importance of using sunscreen, but stress it is just one part of preventing skin cancer. Don’t forget the ‘slip’ (on a shirt) and ‘slap’ (on a hat). And remember, the study demonstrated the advantage of daily sunscreen use.

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