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donderdag 15 juni 2017

RCGP: Highest proportion of prostate cancer cases diagnosed early are picked up in general practice, says RCGP

Highest proportion of prostate cancer cases diagnosed early are picked up in general practice, says RCGP

She said: "The highest proportion of prostate cancer cases diagnosed at an early stage are picked up in general practice and 10 year survival rates have improved significantly over the last 30 years as a result of this and improvements in treatment (from 24.5% in 1980/81 to 83.8% in 2010/11*).

"But as this new research confirms, men with a family history of prostate cancer are at increased risk of developing the condition.

"When a man has symptoms suggestive of prostate problems, GPs would generally ask about family history as part of the process of diagnosis.  However it would not be standard practice to ask about a family history of cancer if the consultation was on an unrelated problem.

"Unfortunately, the traditional 10 minute consultation is becoming too short for GPs and their teams to proactively raise and discuss wider health concerns with patients, so it is important that GPs prioritise the issues their patients present with.

"We would urge men with worrying symptoms to see their GP and to proactively raise the issue of any family history of prostate or any other cancer. Patients should also be aware that maintaining a healthy weight and being more active can reduce the risk of developing many cancers, including prostate cancer."

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Study highlights importance of carefully managing aspirin prescriptions in older patients, says RCGP

She said: "Aspirin is known to be an inexpensive and effective drug for patients who have suffered a stroke or heart attack, but we have known for some time that there are risks involved with its long-term use – and this research shows, it is particularly the case for our older patients.
"The study does reassure us that in most cases, aspirin is still the most appropriate course of treatment for patients, but highlights the importance of managing its use carefully and effectively and that some patients may require additional medication to protect them.

"It's helpful that the researchers suggest action to mitigate this risk - the prescription of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) as a secondary drug - but this does raise a number of health implications. It will continue to be necessary to make decisions of a case by case basis, considering the patient's unique circumstances and medical history, as well as the medications they are already taking and how they will interact with each other.

"Nevertheless, as new research is published, it is important that we take this on board as guidelines for healthcare professionals are updated in the best interests of our patients.
"Prescribing is a core skill for GPs and patients can be assured that their family doctor will only prescribe medication following a full and frank discussion with the patient, outlining the potential risks and side effects associated with the drugs. It is also important that patients who are prescribed aspirin see a healthcare professional for regular medication reviews, and that they use this opportunity to raise any concerns they may have.

"Patients who regularly take aspirin – either as prescribed by their doctor or self-medicated – should not panic as a result of this research. But if they are concerned about taking the drug regularly, over a long period of time, they should make a non-urgent appointment with their GP, or discuss this with their local pharmacist."

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College supports National Clean Air Day
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, said: "Air pollution puts our patients at higher risk of developing serious health problems, such as lung cancer and cardiovascular disease - or making existing conditions worse. It is vital that action is taken to significantly improve air quality right across the country, in the best interests of our patients' long term health and wellbeing. 
"Clean Air Day is a great initiative to raise awareness of the impact air pollution has on our patients' health, and encourage our whole society to make small changes, that can lead to big improvements in air quality in the UK, and the effects of climate change across the world."

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