Central Telegraph - - OPINION NEWS -

Check heart health

IT WAS great to see from the Queens­land chief health of­fi­cer’s The Health of Queens­lan­ders 2018 re­port is­sued last week that we are liv­ing longer.

But the ques­tion needs to be asked, how well are we liv­ing?

While it is good news to see pre­ma­ture death rates from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease have con­tin­ued to de­cline, the fact is this leaves us with a larger age­ing pop­u­la­tion who are liv­ing longer lives with the bur­den of heart dis­ease and other chronic con­di­tions.

An age­ing and un­well pop­u­la­tion is an in­creas­ing con­cern for us as a com­mu­nity. It places a bur­den not only on the per­son but also their fam­ily, car­ers and the health and hospi­tal sys­tem.

One move to keep Queens­lan­ders well and re­duce the pres­sure on our health sys­tem would be an in­creased fo­cus on pre­ven­ta­tive health, so peo­ple can re­duce their risk of heart dis­ease and age with well­ness. We want to stop the heart at­tacks be­fore they hap­pen.

It is also good news from the re­port that we are smok­ing less and walk­ing more – these ac­tions will re­duce your risk of a heart at­tack. They will make a big dif­fer­ence to Queens­lan­ders’ qual­ity of life.

The re­port also tells us that two out of five older Queens­lan­ders have high blood pres­sure and one in three have high choles­terol.

This is a stark re­minder to see a doc­tor and get your heart health checked. Left un­treated, they are putting you in the ex­press lane to­wards a heart at­tack.

Ul­ti­mately, we all want to not only live longer lives but health­ier, hap­pier ones as well. — Stephen Vines CEO, Heart Foun­da­tion Queens­land

Lung can­cer aware

NO­VEM­BER is Lung Can­cer Aware­ness Month and we’re urg­ing all Cen­tral Queens­land lo­cals to help raise aware­ness of the dis­ease, re­duce their risk and sup­port those af­fected.

Lung can­cer is the fourth most com­monly di­ag­nosed can­cer in men and women and is the lead­ing can­cer­re­lated cause of death in Queens­land.

In Cen­tral Queens­land alone, about 123 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer each year.

The main symp­toms of lung can­cer are a new dry cough or change in a chronic cough, chest pain or breath­less­ness, re­peated bouts of pneu­mo­nia or bron­chi­tis, or cough­ing or spit­ting up blood.

These symp­toms do not nec­es­sar­ily mean you have can­cer but it’s im­por­tant to talk to your GP if you ex­pe­ri­ence them.

While there are many fac­tors that can con­trib­ute to lung can­cer, we do know that smok­ing is the lead­ing cause – and be­cause of this many pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly non-smok­ers, can feel stig­ma­tised by their ill­ness.

A can­cer di­ag­no­sis is iso­lat­ing – but it can be es­pe­cially tough if there is stigma in­volved.

Stigma con­trib­utes to psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress, neg­a­tively im­pact­ing on the pa­tient’s qual­ity of life and some­times in­flu­enc­ing treat­ment de­ci­sions.

More ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness is needed to di­min­ish lung can­cer stigma and, with your help, we can en­sure that no one goes through lung can­cer alone.

If you or some­one you know is af­fected by lung can­cer, please phone Can­cer Coun­cil’s 13 11 20 for ac­cess to a range of pub­li­ca­tions, con­fi­den­tial sup­port and re­fer­rals, or visit our web­site, can­cerqld.org.au.

— Chris McMil­lan CEO, Can­cer Coun­cil


Re­gional care

THE LNP sup­ports ac­cess to ma­ter­nity ser­vices in re­gional Queens­land.

We be­lieve that ex­pect­ing mums in re­gional ar­eas de­serve the same level of health­care as those in cities.

As some­one who was born in a re­gional hospi­tal, I un­der­stand how im­por­tant these ser­vices are to ru­ral and re­gional fam­i­lies.

It was great to see the 1000th baby born re­cently at Beaudesert Hospi­tal, fol­low­ing the re­open­ing of ma­ter­nity ser­vices by the LNP. This comes on the back of the restora­tion of ma­ter­nity ser­vices at Chin­chilla Hospi­tal after be­ing shut for al­most a year.

We strongly be­lieve that Queens­lan­ders de­serve a world-class health sys­tem no mat­ter where they live.

We will con­tinue the fight to see ser­vices re­turned to Theodore as well.

Our hard-work­ing nurses, mid­wives, doc­tors and paramedics need more sup­port to im­prove front­line health ser­vices in the bush.

As a nurse, I know how im­por­tant lo­cal ma­ter­nity care is. We need to help ex­pect­ing mums have their ba­bies as close to home as they can.

— Ros Bates MP, Shadow Min­is­ter for Health and

Am­bu­lance Ser­vices, Shadow Min­is­ter for Women

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