March Newsletter

“Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer”.

Ovarian cancer

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed late. The main symptoms of ovarian cancer are feeling constantly bloated, a swollen tummy, discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area, feeling full quickly when eating and needing to pee more often than usual. These symptoms can also be caused by other diseases. Your chance of surviving ovarian cancer is higher if you’re diagnosed earlier, so if you’re concerned you may have symptoms of ovarian cancer, please make an appointment to see your GP to discuss your concerns.

Prostate cancer

March is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. If you feel you need to pee more often, feel like you haven’t quite emptied your bladder, or find it difficult to pee, you should ask your doctor for advice. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, but checking to see if further investigation is necessary is quite straightforward.

Who can get prostate cancer? You need a prostate gland to get prostate cancer. So, it mostly affects men. Trans women and non-binary people who are born male (assigned male at birth) can also get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is most common in older men. It’s the most common cancer in men in the UK.

Breast cancer

Both men and women can be affected by breast cancer, so it’s worth being aware of the symptoms. If you feel a lump in your breast, upper chest or armpit, even if you can’t see it, it’s worth getting it checked. Other signs can be changes to the nipple, including inversion, crusting or rashes and changes to the breast tissue, shape or colour.

Having a mother, sister or daughter (first-degree relative) diagnosed with breast cancer approximately doubles the risk of breast cancer. This risk is higher when more close relatives have breast cancer, or if a relative developed breast cancer under the age of 50. But most women who have a close relative with breast cancer will never develop it. You should speak to your GP if you’re concerned about this. Referral for further investigation is quick if your GP feels it’s needed.

Children’s health and wellbeing

Lockdown has proved challenging for many parents, and making sure your children are eating a well-balanced diet seems like it should be one of the easier things to manage. But it isn’t quite as simple as you might first think. Children have different nutritional needs at different ages and what worked well for your toddler, might not work too well for your older child.

Parents and carers can find some conversations with children difficult. The NSPCC have brilliant advice about how to talk to your children about some of the more difficult subjects in life.

With children spending more time than ever online, have you talked to your child about how to stay safe online? In much the same way that children can work the DVD remote more easily than we can, they learn quickly online too, and we need to make sure they understand the potential dangers.

Teens often find it difficult to talk about their worries, especially if they think that it’s embarrassing. Many teens are struggling with their mental health at the moment. Health for Teens has a brilliant site full of useful information about health concerns and other worries that teens face on a day-to-day basis.

Childhood vaccinations

During the course of their lives, babies born today are likely to be offered vaccinations against 21 illnesses with serious or life-threatening consequences. We really want to make sure that all children have the very best start in life and vaccination against devastating childhood diseases is a brilliant start.

Vaccine effectiveness has appeared frequently in the news of late. Measles and Diphtheria have reduced by up to 99.9% since the introduction of vaccinations against them. Vaccination is estimated to prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide each year. The NHS offers free vaccination, and if your child hasn’t had all their vaccinations, please get in touch so we can check what’s needed.

The importance of attending review appointments

Have you been invited for a review appointment, but haven’t quite got round to booking one yet? Every patient is assessed to ensure they get access to the healthcare they need. If you have a long-term chronic condition, we might ask to see you at least annually, to check how things are going and to see whether we can improve the management of your condition. We can chat about any developments and improvements in treatment, and any concerns you may have.

If we’ve invited you for an annual review, please make an appointment if you haven’t already; we’d love to talk to you about how things are going.

Medication reviews

We know that patients get concerned when we say they need a medication review before the GP can issue their medication. If we say that we need to review your medication, what do we really mean?

We might ask you to have a medication review with your GP if you’ve been on a medication for a long time, or if you’re needing to order it more frequently than we’d expect. Equally, if you’re not ordering the amount we’d expect, or you’ve just started on a new medicine, we might look to review it after a short period of time. For patients with multiple medications, we like to review them from time to time, to make sure they’re still working well for you, and that they’re the best option taking into account all the circumstances including how you feel about them.

1st to 7th March 2021

World Hearing Day (3rd March)

In the UK, we’re lucky that we have good access to healthcare and technology to help those who suffer from hearing loss or deafness. World Hearing Day is organised by the World Health Organization to raise awareness. This year’s theme is ‘Hearing care for all’

It’s impossible to lip-read when others are wearing masks, but these aren’t the only challenges faced by those who are deaf or hard of hearing at the moment. The RNID has compiled some really helpful advice. With just a little effort from all of us, the world of those with impaired hearing could get a lot better.

8th to 14th March 2021

No Smoking Day (11th March)

If you’re one of the 14% of the UK population who smoke, have you considered quitting? According to the Office for National Statistics, over half of the adults who currently smoke would like to quit. If you’re one of them, the NHS has support available.

You can download the free NHS ‘smokefree’ app and get daily support, track your progress and see how much money you’re saving. If you can complete 28 smoke-free days, you’re five times more likely to quit for good.

If you smoke 20 a day and manage to stay smoke-free for a year, that’s around £3,650 you’ll have saved!

If you think you need support with quitting smoking, we’re happy to help. Have a chat with a member of our reception team, and they’ll get you started in the right direction.


Sleep Awareness Week (14th to 20th March) & Safer Sleep Week (15th to 21st March)

“Regular sleep, healthy future” is the theme of the 2021 Sleep Awareness Week. Getting regular, good-quality sleep is important to stay healthy over time. Irregular or poor-quality sleep has been shown to have a negative effect on long-term health and wellbeing. Good sleep starts in childhood.

The Lullaby Trust promote safer sleep for babies and young children. From advice about keeping your baby safe in hot weather, to how long your newborn can stay in a car seat, their advice is based on strong scientific evidence. In Safer Sleep Week, it’s well worth looking at some of the advice they offer; it might just save a life.

Parents often worry more when their child is unwell, particularly when putting them to sleep for the night. The Lullaby Trust have developed a tool to help and reassure parents. Using 19 simple questions, their app will give you advice about whether your baby is unwell, and whether they need to be seen urgently. Based on rigorous research on over 1,000 babies, the app has proved to be effective at differentiating between babies who are slightly unwell and those who need immediate attention.

World Oral Health Day (20th March)

Are you proud of your mouth? World Oral Health Day encourages us to think about the impact of oral health on our lives. Young children should have 20 baby teeth, adults 32 teeth and 0 cavities, and seniors 20 natural teeth to be considered healthy.

Oral health has a big impact on our overall health, and keeping our teeth and mouths healthy can be very simple if we use the appropriate preventative steps.

22nd to 28th March 2021

Epilepsy awareness (26th March)

On 26th March, wear purple to raise awareness of Epilepsy. Around one in every hundred people in the UK suffers from Epilepsy. That’s over 600,000 people in the UK alone.

‘Calm, Cushion, Call’ is the advice given by the Epilepsy Society to be #SeizureSavvy. Focusing on tonic-clonic seizures, as these are the most easily recognised, the advice if you see someone having a seizure is: stay calm and take control of the situation, cushion their head with something soft and if the seizure lasts more than five minutes, call an ambulance.

Published: Mar 2, 2021