Virtual Medical
Issue 115 | Tuesday 7 February 2012

Message from the VMC Medical Spokesperson

Dr Joe Kosterich



Dr Joe

Welcome to this edition of Health eNews!

Gynaecology, or the branch of medicine that deals specifically with the health of the female reproductive system, is a complex and multifaceted field. We have made great strides in the treatment and/or management of gynaecological conditions including menopause, cervical cancer and infertility but there is still much to learn.

In this eNewsletter we look at contemporary issues in women's health, so read on to learn how you, your mother, sister, daughter or friend can make informed women's health decisions.

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Yours in good health,

Dr Joe Kosterich

Ovarian cancer

article image Potential for earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer
Australian scientists have identified biochemical changes that commonly occur in the DNA of women with ovarian cancer, which may help diagnose the cancer at an earlier stage in the future....
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Statin use, menopause and diabetes

article image Statin use in postmenopausal women increases diabetes risk
The use of statins in postmenopausal women is associated with increased diabetes risk, according to a new study. But researchers note statins address the cardiovascular consequences of diabetes and current....
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Fatigued fathers and safety at work

article image Fatigued fathers pose a risk in the workplace
Working fathers with new babies experience cumulative fatigue which may pose a risk in the workplace, according to new research. The study investigated the relationship between fatigue and work safety behaviour of fathers with....
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A new way to diagnose HIV

article image Saliva HIV test passes the grade
A saliva test used to diagnose the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is comparable in accuracy to the traditional blood test, according to a new study....
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Obesity and mortality

article image Big hips, small waist reduces obesity mortality risk
A research team has for the first time demonstrated that the effect of obesity on the risk of premature death is seriously underestimated unless a person's hip circumference is taken into account.....
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Affairs of the heart

article image Sex safe for most heart patients
If you have stable cardiovascular disease, it is more than likely that you can safely engage in sexual activity, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement....
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Studying the human pupil

article image The pupils are the windows to the mind
The eyes are the window into the soul—or at least the mind, according to a new paper. Measuring the diameter of the pupil can show what a person is paying attention to. Pupillometry, as it's called, has been used....
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News on dyslexia

article image Listen up: Abnormality in auditory processing underlies dyslexia
People with dyslexia often struggle with the ability to accurately decode and identify what they read. Although disrupted processing of speech sounds has been implicated in the underlying pathology....
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Virtual Medical Centre Interactive


VIDEO: Breast health
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3D animation ANIMATION: Breast cancer
View the animation
Tool TOOL: A calendar-based contraceptive method
Use the tool
Disease search on VMC ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Popular health topics
View the most popular topics on Virtual Medical Centre.

The support of the following commercial entities is gratefully acknowledged:

Ferring Pharmaceuticals
PharmaCare Laboratories
Janssen logo

Specialised Therapeutics


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Today's Survey

Of the following gynaecological issues, which do you think has the least satisfactory treatments available?

Cervical cancer
Ovarian cancer
Other (please comment)
View Results »



Chocolate Date Slice

Healthy, easy to make fruit and nut chocolate slice packed with flavour.

Makes 8 slices


  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 150 g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 150 mL skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Pour boiling water onto the dates and set aside.

2. Beat eggs and brown sugar until thick. Add the chocolate and milk, and beat. Add sifted flour and cocoa. Mix until smooth. Fold in the dates and walnuts.

3. Pour mixture into a lined 18 x 28 cm slice tin. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180˚C, or until done.

Preparation time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Difficulty rating: Easy

View more healthy recipes.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

An old doctor gets an emergency call in the middle of the night. He responds and finds himself at a small homestead in the middle of the bush. Inside he sees, by the light of one bare bulb hanging from a wire, a woman in labour and a five year old girl.

As the girl holds the light for him to see, he delivers the baby. As he picks it up and spanks the first breath of life into it, the little girl says, "Hit him again! He shouldn't have crawled up there in the first place!"

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