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Physio Pascoe Vale

Q&A with Pascoe Vale physiotherapist Naveena

We sit down and chat about life and physiotherapy with Pascoe Vale physio Naveena Seethapathy.

So Naveena, a question that physios often get asked, why physiotherapy?

I’ll answer that with some more questions. Think about this, why do we seek help for our aches and pains? The most common answer is to reduce pain and improve function.

So the next question. Who do we seek help from? This is where the answers stray from the common to the rare. It might be a physio, it might be a GP, or it might be a podiatrist. Often it’s a friend, sometimes it’s a tablet, and sometimes we do not seek help at all.

I became a physio because I wanted to help people, and help people in pain be it acute once-off or chronic. I wanted to be involved in all aspects of someone’s journey from pain and loss, to find themselves with power, confidence and living their best lives.

For me, that could only mean physiotherapy.

So how does this philosophy translate to a physio consultation in Pascoe Vale?

Here is where our knowledge and beliefs come into play. There’s often this idea that something is mechanically wrong and needs to be ‘fixed’ with medication or surgery. This idea is compelling, isn’t it?

But is it correct? It seems prudent to learn more about our injury or disease and the available treatment options. To get to know how you can tackle it yourself and invest your time in targeted treatment that not only helps you with pain relief but also improve function and even prevent it from happening again.

Doing appropriate physio exercises results in a faster return to work, less healthcare costs, less side-effects and a big boost to your general health.

Physiotherapy empowers you and puts you in the driver’s seat to take charge of your own health.

How does your personal academic, family and sporting history influence your physiotherapy practice?

I have been lucky to work in three different countries (India, Australia and the United States) as a physio and there are a few things that I have realised are universal.

  • Most people prioritise good health over anything else and being able to do things they want without any aches and pains
  • The human body has an amazing innate ability to heal itself; it is counterproductive to think we can ‘fix it’. The best way to facilitate healing is to listen to your body and challenge ourselves in just the right ways
  • Clients seek my help for reasons that are very important to them at that point in their lives. It is very rewarding to see them undergo the transformation from pain-ridden and unable to do what they want to the best they can be
  • I’m committed to constantly learn and get better at what I do. I’ve completed my Master’s in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy and being a member of the Musculoskeletal Group of the APA (Australian Physiotherapy Association) keeps me updated with the latest research and evidence-based practice.

In Pascoe Vale, we see people from diverse population groups, with many different problems. How do you personalise your service?

Let’s say you have done your research and walked in through the door to see me. The foremost step in personalisation is listening to your story. You are unique and so is your story. I listen as it gives me big clues to your problem including to your expectations of the treatment session and goals you want to achieve.

This will be followed by a thorough assessment of the skeletal, muscular, articular and nervous system to figure out what’s going on. Investigations like x-rays and scans are only tools to confirm or differentiate what we know already from our clinical examination so more often than not they’re not required to start treatment.

Physiotherapists are highly skilled in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions but we are also trained in looking out for non-musculoskeletal conditions that could be masquerading as something else. Rest assured we arrange appropriate referrals if required (I’m very proud of my letter writing!).

Once we have a list of physical impairments and functional limitations we will work out a step-by-step management plan that is specific and tailor-made for you. It might be some manual therapy, dry needling, taping to help with pain relief or targeted exercise therapy to sustain the progress. Also, prevention strategies and education can build tolerance and resilience in our bodies’ systems.

Is there anything that we can do as sub-elite level sportspeople to help reduce our own injury risks?

  • If you have a niggle that is bothering you, sort it out! Not only does this reduce injury risk but it also improves your game
  • Pre-season assessments. Check for flexibility, strength issues and get a tailored program for yourself
  • Use training sessions wisely. Training should cater to the playing techniques/drills, as well as strength and conditioning, flexibility, balance and proprioception
  • Adequate hydration, sleep (you heal in your deep sleep) and nutrition
  • Proper gear, including proper footwear (I’ll leave that targeted advice to the podiatry experts)
  • Training load. Increase gradually; you want to keep track of what are you doing and then gradually increase. Some of us have to be careful to not get carried away and over-train leading to injury
  • Warm up!

At the risk of alienating the majority of our audience, who are your favourite teams?

We don’t currently have a consensus at home. My husband follows the Pittsburgh Steelers (grid iron) and my sons are into the Richmond Tigers.

I love to barrack for the underdogs in any sport!

And finally Naveena, for all those who need some high-value physiotherapy care in Pascoe Vale, how would they book in for an assessment with you? Where are you located?

I practise at PVH Medical, 124 Kent Rd, Pascoe Vale. It’s easy to book an appointment online or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: PridePlus

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Pascoe Vale dietitian

Smart, healthy eating – do you do it?

Eating well is key to feeling your best, both now and in the long term.

We know healthy eating plays an important role in keeping your body healthy and strong, as well as preventing illness.

Go for 2 and 5

Eating 2 serves of fruit and at least 5 serves of vegetables each day is the single most important dietary change we can make to be healthier. But how do we fit them all in?

Spreading fruit and vegies over breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus snacks if you need them) makes it easier to get our 2 fruit and 5 vegies per day.

Not sure what constitutes one serve? You can find out here.

Clever ways to enjoy more fruit and veg

Try the following simple meal and snack ideas. They will not only help you get your 2&5 but can save you time, money and even help shrink your waistline!

  • Chop vegies ahead of time and store them in containers in the fridge
  • Buy fruit and vegies that are in season – it’s cheaper and they’re generally tastier
  • Look for fruit and vegies that are cheaper per kilogram or unit
  • Try steaming some frozen vegies in the microwave or adding to a stir-fry when you’re pressed for time
  • Canned fruit and vegies are also good options to have on hand (choose canned fruit in natural juice or water, and canned vegetables with no added salt)
  • Try steaming, grilling, baking or stir-frying with just a small amount of oil
  • Make fruit and vegies more fun for kids, like cutting them into interesting shapes.

Healthy Eating Quiz

The Healthy Eating Quiz is a general guide, designed to help you rate how healthy your eating habits are. It will help to identify areas in which you’re already eating a wide variety of foods and areas where you may be able to improve.

At the end of the quiz, you will receive a score with general feedback on your current eating patterns. It will also give you suggestions for ways to increase the variety of foods in your diet.

If you have any questions about your score, or for tailored advice on healthy eating, please make a booking with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller.

How does your diet stack up? Take the Healthy Eating Quiz now to find out.

Smart Eating Week

When it comes to food and nutrition, do you know how to make the right choices for you?

Find the answer to your questions by participating in Smart Eating Week! It runs from 11-17 February, 2019.

You can get involved by spreading the word, attending an event, reading up on smart eating, as well as joining the conversation on social media with hashtag #SmartEatingWeek.

We make getting dietary advice easy

For dietary advice and nutritional wellbeing, make a booking today with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. You can book online – it’s easy!

 

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia and SA Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Family planning Melbourne

Planning on starting a family?

Are you planning on starting a family soon, or have infant children?

We have dedicated services specifically designed to cater for every stage of a family, including:

  • From the time you decide you’d like to start a family
  • During pregnancy
  • After pregnancy
  • Child healthcare.

Family planning

From contraception to fertility and pregnancy advice, our GPs have got your family planning needs covered. See a female or male GP – it’s your choice.

Pre-conception health check

This health screening is designed for women to determine their readiness to conceive and identify any potential health risk issues.

Antenatal shared care

This is a popular choice for healthy women with a normal pregnancy. It will allow most of your pregnancy care to be managed by one of our accredited antenatal care GPs.

We’re associated with the following hospitals:

  • The Womens (Royal Womens Hospital)
  • Mercy Hospital for Women
  • Northern Hospital
  • Sunshine Hospital.

For more information speak to your GP or contact the shared care coordinator at the above hospitals.

Postnatal care

We offer mother-centric postnatal care services to both the mother and newborn during the first six weeks after delivery of the child. This may include:

  • Routine clinical examination and observation of the mother and baby
  • Routine baby screening to detect potential disorders
  • Support for infant feeding
  • Ongoing provision of information and support.

Baby and child health checks

These checks allow for babies and young children to be routinely evaluated by our GPs to monitor their health, growth and development.

Paediatrics

Did you know we have in-house consulting paediatricians?

A paediatrician is a medical doctor with special training and skills in the diseases and illnesses that affect babies and children, and also in how babies, children and teenagers grow and develop.

Your child might see a paediatrician if your GP wants a specialist opinion about your child’s health and development, or thinks your child needs specialised care and treatment.

We’re here for you and your family

We’re here to take care of the health needs of you and your family. So if you have any questions at all, please chat to one of our friendly GPs.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Summer recipe

Summer recipe: Tuna Nicoise salad

Here’s another yummy, healthy recipe to enjoy this summer.

It serves four people.

Ingredients

  • 400g baby Carisma potatoes, halved
  • 400g green beans, trimmed
  • 400g tinned tuna in spring water, drained & flaked
  • 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 2 baby cos lettuces, shredded
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • Olives (optional).

Dressing

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard.

Method

  1. To make the dressing, whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug. Season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, use Praise 100% fat-free French dressing or balsamic vinegar.
  2. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beans to pot. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and just tender, then drain and refresh under cold water. Add beans to potato.
  3. Add tuna, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, eggs and olives (optional) to potato and bean mixture. Add 2 tsp dressing to your single serve (leftover salad will keep for another three days). Toss gently to combine and season with salt and pepper to serve.

And voila! Enjoy this nutritious salad.

Have you seen our tasty potato salad recipe?

Need help with your diet?

Our in-house dietitian Jessica Fuller would be pleased to assist you. Book online or call 9304 0500 today.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Healthy new year’s resolutions

5 healthy new year’s resolutions for you and your family

New year’s resolutions are a great idea. After all, what better way to start the new year than with a fresh outlook on life?

In reality, however, new year’s resolutions often don’t last because they’re unrealistic and poorly executed. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of achievable, healthy resolutions for you and your family to try.

Let us know how you go!

Say goodbye to fad diets

Losing weight is a common new year’s resolution. But instead of following the latest diet craze, focus your efforts on eating simple, healthy food like fruit and vegies as much as you can. Just one extra serve of vegies a day can make a big difference, says PVH Medical Dietitian, Jessica Fuller. “It can reduce your risk of mortality by 5% which is pretty impressive,” she says.

Find a gym buddy or do group exercises

We all know that going to the gym can be daunting. But what if a friend came along with you? Your buddy can keep you accountable for meeting your goals. You could also consider a group exercise class, like the one we run at our practice in Pascoe Vale. Qualified exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon runs classes every week. “Group exercise classes are a great way to prevent injuries and chronic diseases,” Mike says.

Ask for help if you need it

Life can throw us some curveballs, causing problems at home, work or school. Often the hardest step is the first step – asking for help. Family, friends and loved ones can offer a great support network. But if you feel like you’ve got no one to turn to, or you need extra support, you can always seek professional help. The team of psychologists at PVH Medical – Bronwen Francis, Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts – treat each client with respect and dignity. “Every discussion is kept confidential,” Bronwen adds.

Help your child with developmental delays

Do you have kids? If so, you want them to get the best start in life. This includes ensuring that they keep developing as they grow older. Developmental delays like speech and language problems can be addressed by working with a qualified speech pathologist. With 20 year’s clinical experience, PVH Medical Speech Pathologist Naomi DeNicolo can help your child with speech and/or language difficulties, and even with problems swallowing food or drink.

Get that niggling pain looked at

Life’s too short to put up with niggling pain. Whether you have a sore back, an injured knee or even a headache, seeing a physiotherapist can help. We recently welcomed Naveena Seethapathy to the PVH Medical team. For Naveena, physiotherapy has been a career where she has found her calling to help those injured or in pain. “It’s never too late to seek help for niggling pain,” says Naveena.

Are you ready for a healthy 2019?

So there you have it – five healthy new year’s resolutions anyone can achieve.

If you need help with any of them, we’d be pleased to help. Simply call 9304 0500 or make an online booking today.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Podiatry Melbourne

5 tips to keep your feet happy while travelling

Are you going on summer holidays? Think feet first and get yourself sorted before your trip gets ruined.

1. Sort out your feet before you leave

If you’re experiencing any pain or niggles, make sure you book your podiatry appointment well ahead of your travels to allow for any follow-up to be made, and treatments to help. If you have corns, calluses or irritating nails, these can cause blisters or infections while you travel. Don’t forget to bring the footwear to your appointment that you’ll be wearing whilst away.

2. Breaking in shoes

The footwear you plan on taking on holidays with you is super important. Take time leading up to your trip to increase your activities in these shoes and try swapping socks around too to work out the best combinations.

3. Reduce swelling, cramping and muscle pain

All three can be addressed by investing in support stockings. During long flights, when you’re sitting upright and are inactive for a long period of time (that’s pretty much any flight from Australia to anywhere!), your circulation slows down. Get measured for the correct size support stockings so you don’t land in pain.

4. Avoid nasty infections

Pools, spas and hotel showers are warm and moist environments, just perfect for picking up tinea (athlete’s foot) and also plantar warts (Verruca). Throw a pair of thongs in your luggage and you’ll be fine.

5. Blister management

That blister you get on day one will still be annoying you on day ten. Preventing blisters is the key. Blister management in tropical climates is particularly important with all sorts of tropical bugs wanting to set up camp in your blistered skin.

Simple things to remember:

  • Avoid ill-fitting shoes that are either too loose or too tight
  • Avoid wearing socks and shoes that are wet – change them if your feet get sweaty or you get caught in the rain
  • Try alternating footwear up to reduce pressures on the same areas
  • Socks can reduce friction and blisters on the feet by reducing the moisture and friction on the surface of the foot. Look for socks that wick away moisture from the foot surface and socks that keep their shape and fit, to avoid any wrinkling and bunching
  • If you do get caught with a blister, resist the urge to pop it and pick at it. Dress the area and keep it clean.

Make a booking today

Get your feet checked by one of our podiatrists today. Simply book online or call 9304 0500.

Happy travels!

 

Source: PridePlus Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Travel health Melbourne

Travel checklist: do these things before you go

Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

Research your destination

Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.

Register you details

Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.

Cover yourself with travel insurance

Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.

Organise your passports and visas

All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.

Get the right vaccinations

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.

Plan your medications

If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:

  • Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
  • Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
  • Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
  • Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.

Additional health tips

Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.

Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.

For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.

Have a great time!

Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.

Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!

 

Source: Smartraveller

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Bowel cancer Melbourne

Bowel cancer in men

1 in 11 Australian men will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Bowel cancer affects men of all ages and the risk increases every year from age 50. Around 55% of all Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer are men.

The impact of bowel cancer in men

Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer in men. It kills more than 2,300 men each year.

More than 8,000 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease each year. Around 15% of those men diagnosed with bowel cancer are under age 55.

Preventing bowel cancer in men

Symptoms

In its early stages bowel cancer often has no obvious symptoms. However, any of the following may be suggestive of bowel cancer:

  • Persistent change in bowel habit (looser more diarrhoea-like bowel movements, constipation, or smaller more frequent bowel movements)
  • Change in appearance of bowel movements
  • Blood in the bowel movement or rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained tiredness, weakness or weight loss
  • Abdominal pain, especially if severe
  • A lump or pain in the rectum or anus.

Not everyone who experiences these symptoms has bowel cancer. Other medical conditions, some foods and certain medicines can also cause these changes.

However, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms for more than two weeks, don’t delay in talking to your GP about them.

Family history

Most men who develop bowel cancer have no family history of the disease.

However, having a relative, especially a first-degree relative such as a parent, brother, sister or child with bowel cancer, can increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.

Diet and lifestyle

Choices you make related to diet, lifestyle, screening and surveillance can influence your bowel cancer risk.

Because you can change or modify these risk factors, they are referred to as ‘modifiable’. For the latest information on modifiable risk factors for bowel cancer, download this free resource.

Screening and surveillance

Bowel Cancer Australia recommends participating in screening appropriate to your personal level of risk. Discuss with your doctor what your personal risk is.

Concerns?

Remember, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, please make a booking with your doctor. It’s not worth the risk!

 

Source: Decembeard Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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HIV Melbourne

HIV and AIDS: get the facts

HIV still exists in Australia. There were 963 new HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2017.

Although this is the lowest number of diagnoses since 2010, we need to make sure this trend continues.

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a condition that can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV and AIDS are not the same thing.

Left untreated, HIV attacks the body’s immune system making the body vulnerable to infections and medical conditions that the immune system would be normally capable of controlling.

What is AIDS?

AIDS refers to the illnesses that can develop as a result of untreated HIV or in a person where current treatments have failed. People living with HIV in Australia may still develop AIDS, but this is now rare.

HIV is a chronic condition

HIV can affect anyone. While there is no vaccine or cure for HIV, there are highly effective treatments.

People with HIV take medications on a daily basis to maintain their HIV at an undetectable level and to keep them healthy.

Today, HIV is considered a chronic but manageable condition, and people with HIV can lead long and healthy lives, with a similar life expectancy to a person who does not have HIV.

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV may be present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, menstrual fluid, rectal fluids, and in breast milk. It may be transmitted when such fluids from a person with HIV enters the body of a person without HIV during anal or vaginal sex where preventative measures are not used. HIV may also be transmitted through the sharing of needles or through unsterile tattooing and piercing processes.

HIV is not an air-borne virus such as the flu. It cannot be passed on by hugging, kissing, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing, nor can it be transmitted through sharing toilets, washing facilities, eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV.

How can you help prevent HIV transmission?

  • Practice safer sex, i.e. by using condoms with water-based lubricants
  • Take medication called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Treatment as Prevention (TasP) – use of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) medicine reduces the amount of HIV in a person’s body and may lead to what is called ‘viral suppression’, reducing the likelihood of transmission of HIV to a HIV-negative person
  • Protect yourself while you travel – if you’re sexually active, take condoms and lubricant to countries where there is a high prevalence of HIV
  • Don’t share needles and personal care items (e.g. razors) as this can increase the risk of HIV being transmitted through blood
  • Get tested if you’re at risk or have known risk factors.

​​​​​​​​To learn more about the ways you can help prevent HIV transmission, please make a booking with your doctor.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS. It is a day for the community to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died of AIDS related conditions or other conditions associated with HIV.

Get tested at PVH Medical

The only way to know if you have HIV is through HIV testing, such as a blood test.

You can get a confidential test by visiting your doctor and asking for an HIV test.

 

Source: World AIDS Day Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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How much do you know about cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix.

These abnormal cells can develop into tumours and in worst-case scenarios – spread throughout the body. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system and is the narrow lower portion (or ‘neck’) of the uterus.

How do you get cervical cancer?

The risk factors associated with cervical cancer are:

  • Infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history
  • Exposure to Diethylstilboestrol or DES (an oestrogen medication prescribed to pregnant women from the 1940s to the early 1970s)
  • Lack of regular cervical screening tests.

What is the Human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by an infection with the HPV.

HPV is an extremely common group of viruses that can affect both males and females. In most people, HPV is harmless and has no symptoms, but in some people the virus may persist and lead to diseases of the genital area, including genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva and anus.

How can HPV cause cervical cancer?

After entering the body, HPV will behave in one of two ways: either remaining dormant (inside the body’s cells), or becoming active.

In most cases, the body’s immune system will clear the virus from the body naturally within 14 months. If the immune system does not clear a HPV infection, it can cause normal cells in the lining of the cervix to turn abnormal. In rare cases this can develop into cervical cancer.

Are there any symptoms of cervical cancer?

If early cell changes develop into cervical cancer, the most common symptoms that might be present are:

  • Vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Lower back pain
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Leg pain or swelling.

These symptoms can also be caused by other more common conditions so please don’t panic if you do experience them.

However, see your GP at PVH Medical if you’re worried or if the symptoms are ongoing. If necessary, your GP will refer you for further tests.

In many cases cervical cancer does not usually carry any external symptoms until it is in advanced stages. That’s why the Cervical Screening Test is so important (see below).

How can you prevent cervical cancer?

There are two ways to prevent cervical cancer: vaccination and cervical screening.

The HPV vaccine protects against nine of the main HPV types that cause 90% of cervical cancer.

In December 2017, the five-yearly Cervical Screening Test (CST) replaced the two-yearly Pap test in Australia. For most women aged 25 to 74, your first CST is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will only need to have the test every five years if your result is normal.

Raising awareness for cervical cancer

National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week is being held from November 12-18.

To help raise awareness, women are being asked to get out their orange nail polish. If you don’t have any, you can buy some here. Proceeds will pay for the cervical screening of a woman in a developing country who otherwise would not have access to this life-saving test.

Make a booking today

We’re here for you until 9pm every weeknight and 5pm each Saturday. If you need to see us, please make a booking today.

 

Source: Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, Australian Government Cancer Australia, National Cervical Screening Program and Understanding HPV

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Travel health Melbourne

Are you travelling overseas soon?

It’s so exciting knowing that you’ve booked an overseas holiday and you’ll be leaving soon.

To ensure you have a pleasant trip, however, you should see us before you leave.

Why? Read on to find out.

Many other countries aren’t like Australia

Even if you think your travel destination is safe, disease outbreaks can and do happen.

In addition to immunisations against new infectious diseases, you might need booster doses of vaccines that you’ve received before.

Each case is different

There is no set immunisation schedule that will suit all travellers, so see our travel doctors for advice.

It’s important that you don’t wait until the last minute to visit your doctor to discuss the immunisation needs for your trip. You might need a number of doses and you might need time after immunisation for your body to develop full immunity.

Different types of immunisation for travellers

Some countries require proof of immunisation for some infectious diseases before you enter.

That is why it’s so important to see your doctor before you go on your holiday.

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe.

What about infectious diseases for which there are no vaccines?

Infectious diseases are generally transmitted by food, water or a lack of hygiene (e.g. ‘gastro’ and traveller’s diarrhoea) or by insects (e.g. malaria and dengue fever).

These diseases can be life threatening. Your doctor will advise you on measures and medications that you can take to help prevent these diseases.

We have dedicated Travel Health GPs

PVH Medical is an accredited Travel Health Practice (accredited Yellow Fever Vaccination Provider) and we have dedicated specialist Travel Health GPs.

Before embarking on your next overseas holiday, we can help with all your travel health needs including:

  • A travel health check
  • Vaccinations
  • Fit to Travel and Medical travel insurance requirements
  • The latest travel health information for your destination.

We recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date. Please download our pre-travel assessment form before your appointment.

We look forward to looking after your travel health needs. Stay safe and bon voyage!

 

Source: Better Health Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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breast cancer Melbourne

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October, Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, provides an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. These cells grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.

Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon in men.

It’s the most common cancer in women

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.

Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. You don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts.

What to look for

Changes to look for include:

  • A new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
  • A nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
  • A change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
  • An unusual pain that doesn’t go away.

Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you notice any of these changes.

View the short video below about the breast changes you need to look out for.

Breast cancer risk factors

It’s important to separate the fact from the fiction about risk factors for breast cancer. With an understanding of the things that may increase your chance of developing breast cancer, you can take positive steps to reduce your risk.

Find out more about your risk for breast cancer using this evidence-based breast cancer risk calculator.

Pink Ribbon Day

October is the official month for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day, though you can get involved at any time throughout the year.

You can help those affected by breast cancer by making a donation, hosting a Pink Ribbon event or even buying Pink Ribbon merchandise.

For more information or to show your support, visit Pink Ribbon.

Questions? Concerns? Ask us!

Our team of friendly GPs are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have about breast cancer.

We understand if your preference is to see a female doctor. We’d be pleased to help you in any way we can.

Please make a booking online or call us on 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Australian Government Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Pink Ribbon

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Eat more vegetables

8 tips for increasing your daily vegetable intake

To celebrate National Nutrition Week, here are eight tips to help you increase your daily vegetable intake.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help!

1. Try and cover half your plate at dinner with vegetables.

This guarantees at least two to three serves of vegies at dinner! You can even use this strategy at lunch and breakfast. Adding 1-2 measuring cups of vegetables to these meals will definitely help you get your five serves of vegies in.

2. The vegetables you eat can be fresh, frozen or tinned.

It doesn’t matter! All contain the same nutritional profiles. So, if you’re getting home late tonight and don’t have time to chop up the vegies, feel free to use some frozen vegetables, or even try the pre-cut vegetables from the supermarket.

3. Add some vegetables to your breakfast (or even an easy Sunday night meal).

Add diced vegetables to scrambled eggs or an omelette or frittata. Capsicum, mushrooms, spring onion, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes are good options that go well with eggs. Or, you could sauté some spinach, mushrooms and tomato to have on the side.

4. Try and have one meat-free day a week.

Eat a dish based on lentils and legumes instead. ‘Meat-free Monday’ is a health promotion that started a few years ago that many people like to follow.

5. Add grated vegetables.

Add grated vegies like carrot and zucchini to sauces and any dishes that involve mince such as pasta sauces, tacos and burritos.

6. Try making poke bowls.

These have become super trendy in 2018 and are also easy to make at home. Choose at least three different vegetables to have (such as sweet corn, shredded cabbage, avocado, lettuce, spinach, tomato and capsicum) to go with some protein and wholegrains (such as quinoa or brown rice). Minimal cooking required!

7. Add vegetables to your smoothies.

Adding greens such as spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli or cucumber is a great way to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie and help meet the five serves a day.

8. Snack on some vegetables if you’re hungry in between meals.

Vegie sticks such as celery, carrot, capsicum and cucumber go well with vegetable-based dip such as hummus.

Makeover your meals

It’s a good idea to take some of your favourite meals and give them a bit of a makeover to see where you can add extra vegetables in.

Take pasta bolognese, for example. You could grate some vegetables through the sauce, or bulk the sauce up with some lentils, or you could have a side salad or plate of cooked vegetables to accompany your bowl of pasta.

Getting nutrition advice is easy

For help and advice about eating more vegetables to improve your diet, make an appointment with our in-house dietitian today.

 

Source: The Nutrition Code

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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dietitian Melbourne

It’s National Nutrition Week!

Looking for an easy way to improve your nutrition? Ready to make some small changes for big gains?

Then look no further than this year’s National Nutrition Week campaign: Try for 5. It encourages all Aussies to have five serves of vegetables a day.

We’ve all heard it before: eating more vegetables is the number one strategy to improve health and lose weight.

But how else are they beneficial?

Eating vegetables can reduce chronic disease

Having more vegies in our diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease. This includes coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Eating vegetables can help fight depression

New emerging evidence has found that eating vegetables helps improve mood and reduces the risk of depression. And yet, only 4% of Australians are eating enough vegetables!

That means a lot of us are missing out on essential nutrients that help us to function properly including vitamins and minerals (e.g. vitamin C, magnesium and folate), phytonutrients, antioxidants and dietary fibre.

How many vegetables are we eating?

The average Australian is only eating about half the amount of vegetables that they should be.

This is leading to an increased number of cases of obesity, chronic diseases and poor mental health (including an impact on memory and learning).

Not only are we missing out on essential nutrients available in vegetables, we are replacing our vegetable intake with processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar (not so great for our health).

One extra serve can help

Did you know that just one extra serve of vegies a day can reduce your risk of mortality by 5%? That’s pretty impressive.

Imagine how your health would improve if you had five serves of vegies every single day!

A serve of vegetables includes:

  • ½ cup of cooked green or orange vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, carrots and pumpkin)
  • ½ cup of cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
  • 1 cup of green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • 1 medium potato or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro and cassava)
  • 1 medium tomato.

So, now that you know how important vegies are, how can you start having more of them? Simply read our eight tips for increasing vegetable intake every day.

Getting nutrition advice is easy

For help and advice about eating more vegetables to improve your diet, make an appointment with our in-house dietitian today.

 

Source: The Nutrition Code

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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See a doctor in Pascoe Vale for mental illness

Look after your mental health

Did you know that one in five Australians are affected by mental illness?

Unfortunately, many don’t seek help because of stigma.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain.

These illnesses, which include bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

The exact cause of mental illness is unknown. What is known is that mental illness is not a character fault, weakness or something inherently ‘wrong’ with a person.

It is an illness like any other.

Mental illness is very common

One in five Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder.

Is mental illness treatable?

Yes, mental illness can be treated. Many people who have mental illness can recover completely while others manage their illness very well.

The most important step is to seek help. See your GP in the first instance.

How to get help

A GP can provide treatment or refer you to a specialist, like a psychologist, for extra help. Note, however, that you don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

Effective treatments are available and early identification and care can reduce harm and improve quality of life. If you’re uncertain or nervous about speaking to one of our GPs, you’re welcome to take a friend or family member with you.

Let your GP know if you’re getting help from anyone else, such as other doctors, self-help groups, family and friends, or natural therapists.

Remember to provide your GP with your full list of medications (including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and natural therapies), and ask your GP for a general health check to see what else might be adding to the way you feel.

Raising awareness for mental health

There is a stigma around mental illness due to misunderstanding or prejudice. This can delay or prevent people from wanting or feeling able to seek help, and impacting adversely on their lives.

World Mental Health Day – 10 October – is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy, and to reduce the stigma. It’s an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health to raise public awareness of mental health issues worldwide.

Everyone is encouraged to look at mental health in a more positive light, in an effort to reduce stigma and make way for more people to seek the help and support they deserve.

Make a booking today

If you need help, please make a booking with us. We’re open until 9pm on weeknights and 5pm on Saturday to give you all the support you need.

 

Source: Mental Health Australia, World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Foundation Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Talk to your GP about prostate health

Prostate cancer. Get the facts.

Only men have a prostate. It is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum.

The prostate is often described as being the size of a walnut and it is normal for it to grow as men age. Sometimes this can cause problems, such as difficulty urinating. These problems are common in older men and not always symptoms or signs of cancer.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.

Three facts about prostate cancer

  1. In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men
  2. More than 3,000 men die of prostate cancer in Australia every year
  3. More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.

What are some symptoms of prostate cancer?

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. In the later stages, some symptoms of prostate cancer might include:

  • Feeling the frequent or sudden need to urinate
  • Finding it difficult to urinate (for example, trouble starting or not being able to urinate when the feeling is there or poor urine flow)
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Finding blood in urine or semen
  • Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.

These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you do experience any of them, please see your doctor at PVH Medical.

What are the risk factors?

Factors that are most strongly linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer are:

  • Age – the chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you grow older
  • Family history – you have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer if you have a first degree male relative with this cancer.

Other factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer include genetics, diet and lifestyle.

Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer

There is no evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, but they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:

  • Diet – eat meals that are nutritious. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
  • Physical activity/exercise – there is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

If you’re male and over 50 – or over 40 if you have a family history – you’re encouraged to talk with your GP about prostate health.

Make an online booking with your friendly doctor in Pascoe Vale or call 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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