Join me as I attend an educational seminar at the Versace Hotel Gold Coast, covering everything you need to know about Women’s Health and how to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Set in the opulent Palazzo Versace, this one day seminar focussed on Women’s Health from how to detect breast cancer, how it’s managed today and how to reduce your chances of getting it. The conference also covered other important topics like bleeding in pregnancy, IVF treatments and egg freezing.
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women in Australia - other than non-melanoma skin cancer.
It is the abnormal growth of cells lining the breast lobules or ducts, it may also affect men. There are several types of breast cancer and management will vary accordingly.
Some people have no symptoms and the cancer may be detected through routine screening. However, others may experience symptoms such as; feeling a new lump, sore nipples, nipple discharge or turning in, changes to the size or shape of the breast, skin dimpling or even red or swollen breasts.
It is important that if you are experiencing any of the above or are concerned that you seek medical help.
Currently in Australia, women aged between 50-74 years of age are invited to free screening mammograms every 2 years. Women aged 40-49 and over 75 are also eligible to receive free mammograms.
Treatment depends on the breast cancer found, but may typically include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery or hormone therapy.
We now know that the risk of breast cancer can be reduced by lowering alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy body weight.
In this video we listen to the heart of a patient who has a diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction and a heart murmur.
WHAT IS DIASTOLIC DYSFUNCTION?
Diastolic dysfunction occurs when the left ventricle gets stiffer and is not able to accept blood return in a normal fashion. It can lead to high blood pressure and even heart failure thus requiring regular monitoring and management.
This lovely patient also has a heart murmur that you can clearly hear with the stethoscope. We take a listen to her heart at rest and during exercise.
One in every ten women are affected, no amount of dieting can help and most don’t know it exists… In this episode we talk to a patient diagnosed with Lipoedema and take a listen to her fascinating heart murmur at both rest and during exercise.
Lipoedema is a condition that mainly affects women and is characterised by symmetrical swelling in the legs, thighs, buttocks and sometimes arms. It is due to the way fat is deposited under the skin in an uneven manner instead of in a regular pattern. It can be extremely painful and the areas that are affected have a tendency to bruise easily. Lipoedema can result in fluid retention in the affected areas leading to a condition known as lymphoedema. It is thought to have a genetic basis, however, the cause of the condition is not yet fully understood.
As we hear in this interview, lipoedema can have a number of effects on the body from having a limited ability to do physical exercise to other medical conditions. As you’ll hear, our patient was incidentally found to have a murmur caused by diastolic dysfunction which is where the heart has trouble relaxing between beats. This means that with each contraction, less blood is pumped from the left ventricle and so the heart has to work harder to make up for this shortfall. This, if not monitored regularly, can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure and even heart failure. We take a listen to the murmur over both the aortic and pulmonary valve during rest and exercise and it’s truly amazing.
Treatment of lipoedema is multi-dimensional and involves psychological support, healthy eating and exercise, skin care, compression therapy and management of pain amongst others. It is often managed through a multidisciplinary team of doctors and therapists.
If you or someone is affected with lipoedema please see your General Practitioner for further assessment and management. There are also a number of useful support groups available.
Are you aged between 50-74? Are you up to date with your breast cancer screening? 📣
If the answer is no to the above then it’s time to get screening.
According to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, only half of women in the target age group are taking up their two yearly free mammograms to test for breast cancer.
Breast screening is important for the early detection of breast cancer. The earlier breast cancer is detected the sooner it can be treated with more favourable outcomes. Breast screening also helps to provide women with reassurance following a normal result.
Breast screening is performed using a machine called a mammogram that pushes pressure onto the breasts whilst images are taken. This usually lasts for 10 seconds at a time.
These images are then analysed by a specialist doctor and the results are sent to yourself and your GP. You will then be put on a register to remind you to return every 2 years until the age of 74.
Some symptoms that you should report to your doctor include, changes in the skin, noticing a lump, pain or nipple discharge. If you are concerned about any of the above or are just unsure of how to examine your own breasts please pop by and see me in clinic.