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June 2019 | Published by RCPA

Issue #092

Welcome to the June issue of ePathWay

ePathway is an e-magazine designed for anyone interested in their health and wellbeing and the integral role pathology plays in the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases.

This month’s issue of ePathway looks at the following:

  • Influenza 2019: why has this season been particularly bad?
  • An insight into Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs)
  • Testing for hereditary haemochromatosis, what’s new?
  • Pathology as a true lifeline for survival

This month, more than 1,000 outstanding Australians have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.  Please join us in congratulating distinguished Fellows, Prof Jane Dahlstrom (OAM, FRCPA, FSc, FFOP), A/Prof Alex Forrest (AO, FOMP) and Prof Andrew Biankin (AO, FSc) who were all named in this year’s list. All recipients have made significant contributions to pathology, medical education and research in their respective fields. The RCPA congratulates them all on this well-deserved recognition.

Influenza is notoriously difficult to predict, and this year’s season is no different. With many reports that year has been a “killer” flu season, we speak to Professor David Smith to understand if and why this year has been particularly bad, and what we can do to prevent the spread of infection. Prof Smith explains the importance of receiving the vaccine, and encourages everyone to get vaccinated well ahead of each year’s season.

We speak with Professor Anthony Gill to find out more about Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs), a group of low-grade cancers which develop from neuroendocrine cells. Unlike most cancers, NETs are normally slow growing but can spread to other parts of the body. NETs are being diagnosed more commonly, but this is probably not due to a true increase in incidence, rather it is due to better detection and more accurate diagnosis.

Hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) is an autosomal recessive disorder of iron absorption and is thought to be one of the most common genetic diseases in people of northern European descent. This year, with World Haemochromatosis Week taking place between 3-9 June, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of this, we speak with Dr Samuel Vasikaran to discuss this disease.

Since the age of 9 months old, Louisa di Pietro has received regular treatment for haemoglobinopathy, a term referring to a range of conditions which affects haemoglobin. Like many others, Louisa has received life-saving pathology services on a regular basis for most of her life. We speak to Louisa to discover how pathology is not behind the scenes for her, but rather a way of life.

Remember to follow us on Facebook (@TheRoyalCollegeofPathologistsofAustralasia), Twitter (@PathologyRCPA) or on Instagram (@the_rcpa). CEO, Dr Debra Graves can be followed on Twitter too (@DebraJGraves).

Influenza 2019 – Professor David Smith

Influenza 2019 – Professor David Smith

With many reporting that this year is a “killer” flu season, we spoke to Clinical Professor David Smith, Clinical Microbiologist/Virologist in the Division of Microbiology, and Director of the National Influenza Centre at PathWest QEII Medical Centre, to discuss if and why the 2019 flu season has been particularly bad, and what we can do to prevent the spread of infection.

 

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An insight into Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs)

An insight into Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs)
The term neuroendocrine tumour (NET) refers to a group of low-grade cancers that develop from neuroendocrine cells scattered throughout the body. As these secretory cells have traits of both nerve cells and hormone -producing cells, and release hormones into the blood, NETs can also produce hormones. We spoke to Professor Anthony Gill, Professor of Surgical Pathology at University of Sydney and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Anatomical Pathology at Royal North Shore Hospital to discuss these tumours which arise most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract or lung.

 

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Testing for Haemochromatosis; what’s new?

Testing for Haemochromatosis; what’s new?
Hereditary Haemochromatosis (HH) is thought to be one of the most common genetic diseases in people of northern European descent. Around one in 200 Caucasian Australian people have a genetic predisposition to this disease, with the incidence also the same in New Zealand. This year, World Haemochromatosis Week took place between 3-9 June, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of this disorder which causes the body to absorb too much iron, leading to iron overload. We spoke with Dr Samuel Vasikaran to discuss this disease.

 

 

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Pathology as a true lifeline for survival

Pathology as a true lifeline for survival
Pathology is the foundation for the clinical practice of medicine, paving the way to the appropriate diagnosis, management and treatment of diseases. In reality, every person relies on the work of a pathologist at some point in their life however, more often than not, patients don’t know how closely involved a pathologist is in their healthcare and the diagnosis and treatments of their conditions. For some however, pathology is something which has become an integral part of their everyday lives and a true lifeline for survival.

 

 

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