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Article provided by St John of God Murdoch Hospital

Normal bowel lining

Normal bowel lining

Bowel cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is the second most common cancer in both men and women in Australia (1). Eighty per cent of cases have no known hereditary genetic associations. More than 15,000 bowel cancers were diagnosed in Australia in 2012, and in the same year almost 4,000 people died from the disease.

Bowel cancer is preceded by polyps, which may become invasive cancer if undetected.

What is a polyp?
A polyp is a small stalk-like protrusion of tissue that grows out of the membranes lining various areas of the body.

Polyps can be adenomas, of which a small percentage can turn malignant given time, or hyperplastic polyps which are usually harmless unless they contain an adenoma.

The exact cause of intestinal polyps is unknown, but diet, lifestyle and genetics are all thought to contribute.

Most colorectal polyps have no symptoms, but possible symptoms can include:

  • Blood in the faeces
  • Clear mucus in the faeces
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain

Rectal bleeding can also be caused by haemorrhoids, which are varicose veins in the rectum or anus. It is still important to see a doctor if you notice bleeding, however, to rule out cancer.

Oncologist Sanjay Mukhedkar from OncologyWest says bowel cancer is still a disease of the elderly although if you have a family history of bowel cancer, you should get some genetic testing done.

“If it’s in your family, have some genetic tests or have an early colonoscopy.”

Bowel Cancer Screening
A faecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a screening test that can detect small amounts of blood in your faeces. The test looks for blood, not for bowel cancer itself.

You can do the FIT at home by placing small samples of faeces on special cards and sending them to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The results are then sent back to you and your doctor.

If you are over 50 years old, you may be eligible for the Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening program – check your eligibility by calling 1800 118 868 or visit www.cancerscreening.gov.au.

Bowel Cancer Australia has created an app that provides information on bowel cancer, such as healthy lifestyle changes you can make and a treatment diary for those already being treated for the disease. Visit http://www.bowelscreenaustralia.org to find out more.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital is a division of St John of God Health Care.

(1) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report:
phase 2, July 2008-June 2011. Cancer series no. 65. CAN 61. Canberra: AIHW.

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8 May 2017


City of Melville Future Fit Update

LeisureFit Services are embarking on a revamp as part of the 'Future Fit' campaign after a review of the current LeisureFit performance was undertaken.

This will see the closure of the main gym at LeisureFit Booragoon from Friday, 5 May to Friday, 19 May 2017, for renovations. Throughout this closure additional fitness classes in 'The Yard' will run as follows:

- Friday, 5 May = 8.30am X-Train
- Monday, 8 May = 8.30am X-Train
- Wednesday, 10 May = 6.00am Suspension
- Friday, 12 May = 8.30am X-Train
- Monday, 15 May = 8.30am X-Train
- Wednesday, 17 May = 6.00am Suspension
- Friday, 19 May = 8.30am X-Train

The re-opening of LeisureFit Booragoon on Friday 19 May 2017 will signal the closing of the gym area at LeisureFit Melville. Please note that all other programs and services, including group fitness, wellness, sports and gymbakids, will continue to run at LeisureFit Melville, with new programs currently being developed for the future.

However, with the expansion of LeisureFit Booragoon's gym, it will become one of the best gyms in Perth. There will be a dedicated free weights area, the introduction of an athletic training zone boasting specialist equipment and more!

For more information on the LeisureFit Booragoon's upgrade and Future Fit, please visit our website.


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3 May 2017


Article provided by St John of God Murdoch Hospital

medical health

The cause of type 2 diabetes is currently unknown, but research indicates there are a range of associated risk factors.

Risk factors which cannot be changed include:

  • having a family history of diabetes
  • being over 40 years of age
  • being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese or Indian subcontinent descent
  • being a woman who has had gestational diabetes or who has polycystic ovary syndrome
  • having a mental health condition
  • having a history of heart disease

Risk factors which can be changed include:

  • being overweight: having a waist measurement over 80cm for women and over 94cm for men
  • being physically inactive
  • not following a healthy eating pattern
  • Smoking
  • having high cholesterol or blood pressure

How do you know if you have diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes symptoms differ from patient to patient.

Some develop classical symptoms, such as thirst and excessive urination and some display no symptoms at all. Some are admitted to hospital with other medical conditions, which may or may not relate to their diabetes and in the course of their admission, are found to have elevated blood sugar.

What are the consequences of diabetes?

If not managed properly, diabetic patients can develop:

  • damage to the kidneys
  • damage to the blood vessels in the eyes
  • foot ulcers that can lead to amputation
  • a significantly increased risk of heart attacks, peripheral vascular disease and strokes

Getting on track

Exercise-Equipment_ThinkstockPhotos-477847812

To reduce your risk of diabetes:

  • maintain a healthy body weight
  • be physically active
  • eat a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats
  • stop smoking

Diabetes WA has a great range of resources on their website to help you live more healthily, including exercise and meal tips, to help avoid developing this condition.

myhealthybalance.com.au is a free online program that provides skills and information to make informed decisions about nutrition, exercise and stress.

getontrackchallenge.com.au is a team based challenge where teams of up to four people compete against other teams as they make their way along a virtual track.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital is a division of St John of God Health Care.

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26 April 2017


Mental Heath carer consoling a patient

Keeping mentally healthy is just as important as keeping physically healthy.

Although most LGBTI Australians live healthy, happy lives, a disproportionate number experience worse health outcomes than their non-LGBTI peers in a range of areas, in particular mental health.

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual Australians are twice as likely to have a high/very high level of psychological distress as their heterosexual peers (18.2% v. 9.2%)
  • More than twice as many homosexual/bisexual Australians experience anxiety disorders as heterosexual people (31% vs 14%)

Read more about these stats at BeyondBlue.

Noting this, the Mental Illness Fellowship of WA (MIFWA) and Independent Living Centre WA have come together to provide an education program called Well Ways Building a Future designed to assist carers in maintaining their own wellness and support recovery of their family member or friend with mental illness.

Expressions of interest are being sought from those in the LGBTI communities that identify in the caring or support role for someone with mental illness, to participate in the program commencing in 2017.

See the LGBTI Carer Support flyer for more information.


If you, or someone you know, is living with a mental illness and need someone to talk to, get in touch with BeyondBlue or Lifeline Australia. If the matter is an emerency, call 000.


What's your tip for keeping mentally healthy when looking after others?

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21 December 2016


Many agree on the factors contributing to a good death. People want to be treated with dignity, have relief from pain and, as much as possible, to control what happens to them.

Advance care planning is one way to exercise control. The process involves discussing and expressing preferences about the kind of care you would or would not want in a situation where you lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

As part of this process, you can write an advance care directive – a document that can be legally binding. It states your views and instructions about health care and other personal matters.

You can also appoint someone you trust to be you health care decision-maker. Despite its usefulness, only a small number of Australians (around 14%) currently have an advance care directive.

To learn more about an advance care directive, visit: http://theconversation.com/take-control-over-the-e...

Despite its usefulness, only a small number of Australians (around 14%) currently have an advance care directive.What do you think about that?

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4 October 2016


Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications says:

A friend made an offhand comment the other day that caught me off-guard:

“When I blow my nose, it’s green, so I’m calling my doctor for some antibiotics.”

I thought this myth had been debunked long ago. In fact, it has been well established that you cannot rely on the color or consistency of nasal discharge to distinguish viral from bacterial sinus infections, or even whether you’re dealing with an infection at all. Seasonal allergies are a good example. They can cause all sorts of nasal discharge — thick or thin, yellow, green, or clear — even though there’s no infection at all.

To read more about this issue, visit: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dont-judge-your...

With the cold weather still upon us, how do you stay healthy?

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4 October 2016


The Active in the Park is back again for 2016! Come along and enjoy the summer series of free outdoor fitness classes.

Healthy Melville Active in the Park Free exercise classes are back again for 2016!

Get your body energised by joining in one of our great classes.

Enjoy working out in one the City's beautiful parks - fitness never felt better!

Check out our weekly class timetable: 17 October to 10 December 2016

Start DateDayTimeClassLocationParticipants
17/10/16Monday6.00-6.45pmFunctional FitnessTompkins Park,
Alfred Cove
All ages*
18/10/16Tuesday8.30-9.15amActive LightDeep Water PointSeniors**
19/10/16Wednesday9.30-10.00amTunes for TotsDeep Water PointAge 2-4 with parent participation
20/10/16Thursday3.30-4.15pmPlayFitPiney LakesPrimary school age
22/10/16Saturday7.15-8.00amYogaJeff Joseph Reserve, ApplecrossAll ages*


For more information and to register, visit: http://www.melvillecity.com.au/community-and-facil...


4 October 2016


You no longer have to look to science fiction to find the cyborg. We are all cyborgs now. Mobile phones, activity trackers, pacemakers, breast implants and even aspirins all act as biological, cognitive or social extensions and enhancements of our bodies and minds. Some have even predicted that human beings as we know them will be replaced by technically enhanced, god-like immortal beings within 200 years. Or at least rich people will.

The next generation of wearable technology is set to take us one step closer to this predicted future. We are now looking at a future of bionic, data-rich and in-body technologies that may forever change what it means to be human.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/how-we-discovered-the-d...

Do you think modern technology like fitness trackers is overly intruding into our lives?

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20 September 2016


What harm can having too little of a vitamin do? Consider this: Over the course of two months, a 62-year-old man developed numbness and a “pins and needles” sensation in his hands, had trouble walking, experienced severe joint pain, began turning yellow, and became progressively short of breath. The cause was lack of vitamin B12 in his bloodstream, according to a case report from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It could have been worse—a severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more.

Keep reading: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-def...

How do you make sure to get enough vitamin D in Melville?

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1 September 2016


Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide.

In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach -- training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

Do you think our society fully appreciates the role mental health plays in our well being?

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11 August 2016


It's the flu season, and while many of us struggle to get better, a new analysis has found more than 95 per cent of the world's population is ill.

The new analysis is based on the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study.

What's more, a third of those had more than five chronic or acute illnesses – and Australians were among these. Low back pain and depression were the top two major health problems in Australia, in terms of their impact on people.

The study, published in The Lancet, examined and evaluated chronic and acute disease and injury across 188 countries from 1990 to 2013 using a tool known as Years Lived with Disability (YLD), which measures the impact of health problems impairing mobility, hearing or vision, or those causing some kind of pain.

Significantly, the study found rates of disability are rising, as people live longer and experience more illness. For example, the incidence of diabetes worldwide has increased 43% over the past 23 years while death rates from the disease have only increased 9%.

To discover the 10 leading causes of YLD, visit: http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2015...

Are you surprised by the findings of this new analysis?

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3 August 2016


In order to get their citizens active, Mexico, Russia and Dubai have all offered monetary incentives in exchange for exercise.

In 2015, Mexico installed 30 motion-sensitive machines at subway stations that dispensed a free ticket to anyone who completed 10 squats.

One Russian station tried a similar idea before the Sochi Winter Olympics – though the exchange rate there was a less favourable 30 squats per ride.

In 2013, Authorities in Dubai were offering gold in return for weight loss in a scheme to encourage healthier living.

The initiative took place over Ramadan, a month of fasting.

What do you think about government schemes paying people to exercise?

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19 July 2016