Gold Coast locals need to make cancer screening a priority, Cancer Council warns

New statistics have revealed only 35 per cent of eligible Gold Coast residents are participating in bowel cancer screening, and fewer than 60 per cent are taking part in breast and cervical cancer screening.

Cancer screening in Australia by Primary Health Network*, released by the AIHW, provides a report card for each Primary Health Network on the three free national cancer screening programs currently available.

The data shows around 56 per cent of eligible Gold Coast women participate in breast screening, and more than 57 per cent get a pap smear every two years. This compares to a national average of 54 per cent across all age groups for breast screening, and over 57 per cent for cervical screening, with bowel screening lagging behind at just 37 per cent.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift called on Gold Coast locals to make cancer screening a priority. “It’s crucial that all Gold Coast locals participate in recommended cancer screening – the earlier we detect cancer, the better the prognosis,” Ms Clift said. “We need more eligible Queenslanders to make the effort to participate in recommended screening – it could save your life.”

“We know that regular pap smears are the best way to detect cervical cancer early. It’s crucial that all eligible Queensland women prioritise regular pap smears and get screened every two years.

“When it comes to breast cancer screening, women aged 50-74 should have a mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Queensland. Women at a high risk or with a family history should discuss their screening options with a GP.

“The National Bowel Cancer Screening program currently invites men and women turning 50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72 and 74 to screen. Participants are sent a free, easy to use screening kit that can be completed at home. It’s important that if you receive a kit, you use it.”

Up to one third of all cancers can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes including participating in recommended cancer screening. Around 3400 Gold Coast locals are diagnosed with cancer each year, and about 1000 die from the disease, the latest Cancer Council data shows.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.

Why you should take part in the World’s Greatest Shave

Thirty-four Australians will today be given the devastating news that they have a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

Although survival rates are improving, blood cancers are still the third biggest cause of cancer death in Australia.

The figures are shocking, so Leukaemia Foundation are on a mission to improve the statistics.

Every March the charity hosts the World’s Greatest Shave to raise money for life-saving research and to help support those already facing a cancer battle.

All Australians are encouraged to take part by getting sponsored to either shave, colour or wax the hair on their head, chest or face.

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All the money donated by sponsors goes towards research, which is needed to discover kinder and more effective treatments for blood cancer. The sponsorship funds also help to support families when they need it most, providing people with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma with a free home-away-from-home near hospital during their treatment as well as free transport to appointments and practical assistance and emotional support.

The Leukaemia Foundation receives no ongoing government funding, so supporting the World’s Greatest Shave is one of the only way the charity can make their Vision to Cure and Mission to Care possible.

There are a number of World’s Greatest Shave events happening here on the Gold Coast that locals are being urged to sign-up for:

All Things Pets, Pools & Produce
When: March 12
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Helensvale Town Centre
When: March 12
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

The Shearers Arms Tavern
When: March 12
Time: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Dog & Parrot Tavern
When: March 12
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Robina Town Centre
When: March 13
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

There is still plenty of time for Gold Coasters to sign-up and get involved in this wonderful cause. To learn more about the Gold Coast events click here.

For more information on the World’s Greatest Shave, to sign up or to donate, visit: worldsgreatestshave.com/

Chemical found in babies’ dummies and condoms could cause cancer

The World Health Organisation has said a chemical that is found in babies’ dummies and condoms “probably causes cancer”.

WHo scientists have concluded MBT or 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, which is in a wide range of rubber products such as condoms, babies’ dummies, rubber gloves, elastic bands and car tyres, should be added to its “encyclopaedia of carcinogens”.

However experts have said that the general public should not be concerned as it is more of a threat to factory workers who produce the items.

MBT has been linked to bladder cancer, bowel cancer and a type of blood cancer.

Professor Hans Kromhout, a member of the committee that reviewed the chemical, said: “It has been identified in gloves and baby bottle teats and soothers. It has recently been identified in inhalable road dust with the wearing of rubber tyres the most likely source of this contamination.”

MBT has been linked to bladder cancer, bowel cancer and a type of blood cancer.

Surgery might be the answer to solve your weightloss woes in 2016

Did you promise to say goodbye to that extra weight when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve?

You’re not alone. Results from the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey show that almost almost two-thirds (63%) of Aussie adults are overweight or obese, so it’s not surprising a number of us made new year’s resolutions to ditch the kilos this year.

If you haven’t yet managed to shift any weight, a Gold Coast doctor has revealed the most scientific way to lose the fat and keep it off. While banning chocolate and slogging it out in the gym can help shift a few pounds, Doctor Jason Free says many of us should also be considering surgery as an option. “Research shows that a weightloss/surgical operation, such as Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band or Gastric Bypass, is the only scientifically proven method to maintain longterm weightloss,” he told myGC.

Dr Free said that while a lot of people choose to undergo surgery for appearance purposes, there are many health benefits. Overweight individuals often suffer a range of health complications including arthritis, sleep apneoa, high blood pressure and diabetes. They are also have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

“A number of patients are motivated to undergo surgery for appearance purposes and to improve their self esteem, rather than health optimisation,” Dr Free said. “However there are also dramatic health benefits of bariatric surgery and we can help identify patients whom would benefit the most from a surgical solution.”

For more information on surgical weight loss solutions, and Dr Jason Free, visit surgerygoldcoast.com.au

Revolutionary medical app can detect pneumonia in kids better than a doctor

A University researcher is seeking venture funding to promote a revolutionary medical app that could save thousands of lives in the developing world.

Dr Insu Song, a Senior Lecturer in IT at JCU’s Singapore campus, said his team had developed a phone app that analysed a child’s breathing and diagnosed pneumonia more accurately than a human doctor.

The app works by way of recording a patient breathing into their mobile phone and analysing the sound for the telltale signs of pneumonia. Results are received in around two minutes.

“It means we are able to detect if kids have breathing problems by using a non-invasive procedure. It’s the first time this has been done,” said Dr Song.

Researchers recorded the breathing of more than 150 children with pneumonia in pediatric clinics in Bangladesh as they gathered data for the project.

Dr Song said the reliability of the app was more than 90 per cent, better than the performance of human doctors. “In a remote part of Bangladesh, it makes pneumonia diagnosis 180 times cheaper and 1800 times faster than going to a doctor,” he said.

The work to this point has been funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but any widespread rollout of the technology requires the building of large-scale computer servers.

Dr Song said that although the development phase was over there was now the challenge of finding potential commercial partners.

The lung disease is responsible for between 28 and 34 per cent of all child mortality in under fives, with 95 per cent of that group being from developing countries.

The app has been found to work when used by people with little training and where a lot of background noise was present.

“The technology has been focused on children under nine, but there is nothing to prevent us from extending its use to adults too,” said Dr Song.