Day: 21 December 2017

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New National Cervical Screening Guidelines

Glen Iris Medical Group

From the 1st of December this year, significant and important changes have been made to the cervical cancer screening program.

Until now, sexually active women between the ages of 18-69 years were screened on a two yearly basis with a Pap smear test. The new program replaces the smear with a five yearly Cervical Screening Test (CST) for women between the ages of 25-74 years. Extensive studies have shown that cervical cancer is incredibly rare in women under 25 and screening women under this age (i.e. 18-25) has not reduced the number of cases of cervical cancer or deaths from cervical cancer.

The CST detects the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the cause of 99% of cervical cancers. The traditional Pap test examined cervical cells looking for abnormalities that could lead to cancer. The CST looks for HPV, which is the cause of those cellular abnormalities.

The test procedure is the same. Your Doctor will still use a vaginal speculum to take a cell sample from your cervix, however, the sample is suspended in liquid rather than smeared onto a glass slide like a traditional pap test.

Your first CST will be performed when you are due for your next (or first) pap smear, which is generally two years from your last one. From that point on, the testing becomes five yearly (dependent on results of course).

Preparing for your blood collection

Glen Iris Medical Group

Having blood collected isn’t a pleasant experience, so proper preparation is essential to ensure a viable sample is taken the first time.

This is especially important if your Doctor is requesting tests that require fasting, such as cholesterol and blood glucose. In order to prepare for a blood test, the recommendations are:

Come well hydrated; drink plenty of water the day before and the day of your test.
Avoid smoking.

Health Assessments for patients aged 75+

Glen Iris Medical Group

If you have recently turned 75 or will turn 75 in the coming year, you will likely be invited for an annual Health Assessment with your Doctor and Practice Nurse.

An initiative of the Department of Health and fully funded by Medicare, annual health assessments are designed to identify health issues and conditions that are potentially preventable and to reduce your risk of hospitalisation.

A broad range of questions and examinations are performed to provide your Doctor with a complete overview of your physical, mental and social health and overall quality of life.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Glen Iris Medical Group

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a condition where the airways become blocked when a person is asleep. It is a serious medical condition that affects a person’s health and quality of life.

The severity of the condition can vary between individuals, meaning there may be partial or complete restriction of the airway during sleep. The restriction may last from several seconds to up to a full minute. The lack of oxygen causes the person to ‘wake’ briefly, generally followed by a snort or loud snore and a gasp which restores airflow. They tend to fall back asleep immediately with no idea that this has occurred.

Common Issues in General Practice: Migraines

Glen Iris Medical Group

The common migraine is a very painful type of headache. For unknown reasons, they tend to affect women more than men suggesting that hormones may play some role.

Migraines can be very distressing and disabling. An attack can last anywhere from four hours to several days. Symptoms experienced can be extensive but commonly include:

New National Cervical Screening Program

Glen Iris Medical Group

From the 1st December 2017 there will be a new test replacing the pap smear test. New evidence about cervical screening has found that screening for human papillomavirus (HPV)(with reflex liquid based cytology) every five years is more effective than, and just as safe as, screening with a pap smear every two years. Because of this more effective test women only need to screen every five years regardless of whether or not they have had the HPV vaccination.

Once you have had the new test and the result is normal you will be placed onto a 5 yearly reminder program.

*The screening age of women is now 25-74 years*