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Sun, 2nd June 2019
 

Questions & Answers

 
EXERCISE - WHAT FUN

Q: 

You constantly advise exercise, but I am so busy with the washing, ironing, housework, gardening, pushing trolleys through supermarkets, hauling, carting and stacking food for my incredibly large hungry family I have not a chance to go for a 30 minute walk each day!

A: 

Lucky you. You are already doing far more than recommended, and I am sure you will outlive the family, most of your neighbours and friends, unless they too are toiling like horses. Do not begrudge the work - it will keep you fit for many years, and you will suffer less illness. Lucky U.

 
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GRAFT ON GRAFT

Q: 

I had a skin cancer removed from my nose, and a flap of skin from the adjoining area stitched over the wound. All healed nicely. Now I have developed yet another cancer on the skin graft flap. I cannot understand it. Another graft?

A: 

The skin used for the graft has been similarly exposed to the sun as the part originally removed, so this is not unexpected. If in an early stage (and I am sure it will be), removal by liquid nitrogen will almost certainly be successful. Wear SPF50 creams and a hat when outdoors. Have a skin check 6 monthly for life.

 
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NATURAL ANTISEPTIC

Q: 

Can you suggest a nice natural soothing antiseptic for minor cuts, abrasions and infections.

A: 

All the essential oils are good antiseptics, although vary a bit in their strength. A few drops of Australia s own tea tree oil, or lavender essential oil in a cup of warm water is excellent for many simple infections. Re-apply often, softly pat dry and cover. Tetanus updates or antibiotics may be needed.

 
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COUGHING BLOOD

Q: 

I have had a persisting cough, and now dark streaks of blood are appearing, and sometimes it is red.

A: 

Any blood in cough debris must be investigated. It may be a simple superficial inflammation. But it may be more deep seated and potentially a serious disease. For instance, TB is again on the rise, and pneumonia still kills many people annually. A chest x-ray and adequate investigation are essential. Do not delay.

 
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MANS BREAST LUMP

Q: 

I have developed a lump under my right nipple. Being a man is this of any consequence?

A: 

It certainly is. With persons in their teens swelling is often transient, and due to hormonal changes. It usually settles without treatment. In older men, it may be a cancer. An immediate check with your doctor is essential. A biopsy will give the correct diagnosis. Appropriate treatment will then follow. I have only seen one male breast cancer in my lifetime, but it kills around one male per year in Australia.

 
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FURRY TONGUE REMEDY

Q: 

You occasionally discuss black furry tongues, a hideous symptom. My old doctor gave me an instant remedy. A thin slice of lemon smeared with glycerine, is placed on the tongue. Leave for a while, and the furry mess vanishes. I have often successfully used it. Please tell your readers.

A: 

It is worth a try. Chewing small chunks of fresh pineapple is also often effective. Both are acidic, and probably dissolve away the furry mess. Rinsing the mouth with warm saline or taking antacids may also help. Often it is due to an excess use of antibiotics!

 
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COLONOSCOPY

Q: 

The doctor has ordered a colonoscopy, but I am terrified at the thought. What happens?

A: 

This is a simple examination under anaesthetic. A long tube with a telescope and light at one end is inserted, examining the entire length of the large bowel. Abnormalities are revealed in true life colour on a screen alongside. Certain ones, such as small warty polyps, fore-runner to cancer may be removed. Other biopsies may be taken. It is accurate, and a helpful practical reassuring examination. You may be in hospital for a few hours only.

 
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BLADDER INFECTION

Q: 

I suffer from recurring bladder infections. A friend says she has antibiotics every day. Is this advisable? What about cranberry juice?

A: 

Recurring bladder infections are common in women, as the outlet tube is short and the valve often weak, often worsening with age. One quarter tablet of Bactrim or Septrim (or whatever antibiotics the germs are most sensitive to) per day for 12 months or more are often prescribed with success. Last year the JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Assn said Cranberry juice may also reduce recurrence. This is simple and cheap. Drink lots of water and do not become cold.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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