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In Depth Articles

New research gives hope in the fight against pancreatic cancer

June 26, 2019

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer, is the third most common cause of death from cancer in the United States and the fifth most common in the United Kingdom. Deaths from PDAC outnumber those from breast cancer despite the significant difference in incidence rates.
Late diagnosis …

Mental health first aid

June 19, 2019

Managing patients with mental health issues is a common recognised challenge for Australian GPs. Managing families and carers is a common often unrecognised challenge for Australian GPs. Knowing someone with a mental health issue, living with them, working with them or caring for them can be extremely difficult and exhausting, …

Beware teething remedies

If you imagine a teething child, what do you see? An irritable tot with a fever, in pain, and generally unwell?
Teething’s a normal developmental process that people have long associated with illness. However, the evidence says otherwise.
How strong is this evidence? Is there anything you can do to help a …

Meat no more

Bad news for steak lovers.
The latest findings from two very large, well-known prospective cohort studies show that increasing your intake of red meat, even if it’s only by half a serving a day, significantly increases your risk of death.
And the increased mortality risk is independent of how much red meat …

How to get the nutrients you need without eating as much red meat

June 12, 2019

If you’re a red meat-eater, there’s a good chance you’re eating more of it than you should. At last count, Australians ate an average of 81 grams of red meat per day.
The planetary health diet was developed by researchers to meet the nutritional needs of people around the world, while …

Quality improvement in aged care

If you look after patients in an aged care facility you should really have a look at this resource.
It’s from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and it basically gives you all you need to know about the most recent initiative to ensure high standard of care in these facilities.
From …

Anorexia and cancer risk

You’d think having anorexia nervosa was bad enough. But among all the negative effects it can have on your body, could it also increase your risk of cancer? Or does the condition perversely mimic the caloric restriction and fasting that have been demonstrated to benefit the prevention of some malignancies …

Help for women with vulval issues

June 05, 2019

Female patients who present with vulval pain or itch have usually put up with symptoms for some time before coming to the doctor.
When it comes to this area of the female anatomy there is still a lot of ignorance and embarrassment in the world outside our surgeries. And while it …

Are you burnt out at work? Ask yourself these 4 questions

It’s normal to feel stressed at work from time to time. But for some people, the stress becomes all-consuming, leading to exhaustion, cynicism and hatred towards your job. This is known as burnout.
Burnout used to be classified as a problem related to life management, but last week the World Health …

Improving vaccination rates in pregnancy

Increasingly, pregnant women are heeding the warnings about the dangers of pertussis and getting vaccinated but the same does not appear to be happening with influenza protection.
According to an Australian retrospective analysis, pertussis vaccination of pregnant women in Victoria increased from 38% in 2015 to 82% two years later. However, …

Smartvax

May 29, 2019

It’s only been around a few years, but this little bit of technology has already received world wide acclaim for its ability to improve the safety of vaccines in the real-world setting.
In simple terms, Smartvax is a program practices install into their software system that sends an SMS directly to …

Gene-directed prescribing coming to general practice

It’s been around for some time now. The idea of checking a person’s genes to guide appropriate prescribing is not new. It is pretty much standard practice when treating many if not most cancers.
But pharmacogenomics in general practice? Looking at an individual’s genetic variants to work out the best treatment …