The Health News – 13 December 2016

Overview:
• Senior doctors at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) are urging the New South Wales Government to stop plans to move hundreds of bureaucrats onto its St Leonards headquarters. Doctors argue the land is too valuable to be used for office towers and it should be preserved for clinical services or future expansions.

• The Esteya electronic brachytherapy machine, the first machine of its kind in Australia,  will be used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane’s south. The machine uses low energy X-rays to target the cancerous site – very safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment.

• A broad population screening could identify women at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In a study of 2,000 women by Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Associate Professor Paul James said they were able to detect one in 200 women carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and are at a very high risk of cancer.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  13th of December 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-12/bureaucrats-not-welcome-at-royal-north-shore-hospital/8113722

Senior doctors at Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) are urging the New South Wales Government to stop plans to move hundreds of bureaucrats onto its St Leonards headquarters.

The Government is moving the health department from Miller Street in North Sydney to a purpose-built onsite tower next door to RNSH.

Doctors argue the land is too valuable to be used for office towers and it should be preserved for clinical services or future expansions.

Head of trauma at RNSH Dr Tony Joseph said the plan was “short sighted”.

Intensive care specialist Dr Richard Piper was also critical of the blueprint.

“This hospital is the legacy we are going to leave to our children and we don’t want to tax them by selling off the land and using it for office space rather than leaving a legacy that is focussed on patient care,” he said.

The move has been in planning for more than two years. Doctors are also concerned the relocation of office workers will be prioritised [a]head of other works at the hospital.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-12/new-machine-to-treat-non-melonoma-skin-cancer-in-brisbane/8113714

Queensland skin cancer patients will be the first in Australia [to] be treated with a new machine for delivering radiation, which is less invasive and leaves less scarring than surgery.

The Esteya electronic brachytherapy machine will be used to treat non-melanoma skin cancers at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane’s south.

It is the first machine of its kind in Australia and one of only 11 in the world.

Radiation oncologist Professor Michael Poulsen said the machine used low energy X-rays to target the cancerous site.

“[It] is a very safe, effective, non-invasive treatment …,” Professor Poulsen said.

“It doesn’t involve any local anaesthetic.

“The most common schedule we would use is the patients would come here two-to-three times a week for two-to-three weeks.”

Professor Poulsen said the treatment could not be used on bigger, deeper, or more advanced skin cancers, but it would be an alternative to surgery for some lesions.

Professor Poulsen said the machine can treat up to 40 patients per day, and patients may have to pay a couple of hundred dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.

More than 350,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are treated in Queensland every year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-12/brca-testing-identifies-women-not-known-at-risk/8112986

An Australian pilot study has found broad population screening could identify women at higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The study of 2,000 women by Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre looked at women who would not ordinarily have been considered at high risk of cancer.

Associate Professor Paul James said they were able to detect one in 200 women carry[ing] a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation and are at a very high risk.

“These are people who hadn’t come to us in the clinical services or who hadn’t presented because of their family history,” he said.

A damaged BRCA gene can lead to increased risk of cancer in women, particularly breast or ovarian, by up to 85 and 65 per cent respectively.

Currently, women are screened if someone in their family is diagnosed, but about half of women with a damaged BRCA gene do not have a family history of the disease.

The results have recently been presented to researchers across the world, including at conferences in Montreal and San Antonio, and the research team is now extending their trial to 10,000 people.

Associate Professor [Paul] James said it is one indicator of a new era in medicine.