As the old adage goes, ‘Prevention is better than the cure’. Failure to detect certain easily treatable diseases early, such as skin cancer, can lead to potentially serious health consequences down the line. Stirling Clinic offers a wide range of preventative health checks and advice to make sure you’re not in the dark in regard to your health.
Preventative Health Services include:
45–49-Year-Old Preventative Health Checks
The 45–49-year-old preventative health check is a one-time thorough check up available to everyone within this age range. The aim is to help find, prevent, or lessen the effect of disease.
This health check gives our doctors the opportunity to look at your lifestyle and medical/family history to determine if you are at risk of developing a chronic disease.
This 30-minute health check involves:
- Updating your medical history and discussing any health concerns you may have.
- Conducting routine tests, such as blood tests, a blood pressure check and other tests if required and a follow up.
- Advice and information on how to make better lifestyle choices and improve your overall health.
This check is key to identifying risk factors that may affect your health, including:
- High blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
- Carrying extra weight
- Poor diet
- High cholesterol
- Family history of disease, such as cancer and heart disease
Please contact our office and book in for a 45–49-Year-Old Health Check with your regular doctor.
Cardiovascular Risk Assessment (Heart Health Check)
A Heart Health Check or Comprehensive Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment looks at a patient’s current heart health, as well as the need for ongoing management if required. This annual health check is for those that are aged 45 years and above (30 years and above for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) who are not already known to have CVD.
This health check can be claimed annually through Medicare.
The 20-minute check includes:
- Gathering of patient information looking to identify any CVD risk factors including smoking status, family history of CVD, cholesterol, and diabetes status.
- Physical examination
- Implementing a management plan for ongoing assessment and managing your risk of CVD
- Providing patients with preventative health care advice and information, including advice on modifying lifestyle risk factors.
A complete cholesterol test is a simple blood test that measures the amount of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood. Regular screening of your cholesterol is recommended for men over 35 and women over 45.
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat that your body needs to function properly. However, too much cholesterol can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Atherosclerosis, a clogging or hardening of your arteries.
Regular testing is especially important if you:
- Have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease
- Are overweight
- Drink alcohol frequently.
- Lead an inactive lifestyle
Blood Pressure Checks
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for ill health. Blood pressure checks are quick and easy. Everyone over 18 should have a Blood pressure check at least every five years, while people over 40 or those with risk factors should check their blood pressure annually.
Blood Glucose Testing
A blood glucose test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. This test may be done as a routine screening to ensure all is well with your sugar levels. People with Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes will need to do glucose tests on a regular basis to monitor and manage their condition.
Bowel Cancer Screening
Stirling Central Health Clinic participates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. This program aims to reduce deaths from bowel cancer by detecting the early signs of the disease. Eligible Australians from 50 – 74 years of age are sent a free, simple test that is done at home. If you are not eligible for this program, or have specific concerns, you can discuss them with your doctor, who can order tests and/or referral to a specialist to ensure your continued good health.
You are probably familiar with the term ‘pap smear’ to check changes to cervical cells which may lead to cervical cancer. In 2017 the Pap Smear Test was replaced by the Cervical Screening Test. This test is now offered to women aged between 25 to 74 once every 5 years instead of every 2 years. The test looks and feels the same as a pap smear with your doctor collecting a sample of cells from the cervix using a small tool called a speculum.
The Cervical Screen Test is a more accurate test than the previous pap smear test because it also detects HPV, a sexually transmitted infection that is the cause of most cases of cervical cancer.
Skin Checks & Excisions
A skin check is a comprehensive assessment and examination of a patient for any evidence of skin cancer. Regular skin checks give your GP the opportunity to assess your risk of skin cancer, educate you on skin self-examination and possibly detect skin cancer at an early stage.
If your doctor has a concern about a specific skin lesion, they may opt to have that lesion removed (excision) and sent to the lab for analysis.
While regular skin check assessments are completed with a GP, excisions are completed with both a doctor and a nurse. When booking in for a skin check or excision please ask reception for a double appointment time to allow for a thorough examination and room setup.
Weight Loss and Weight Management
Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight can be hard. Weight related issues might stem from depression, stress, emotional eating, or other factors. Being overweight is one of the greatest contributing factors to chronic disease. Your GP can advise you about losing weight safely by eating a healthy and balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.
Our doctors are familiar with your health and this makes them an ideal resource to discuss your nutritional needs. Your doctor can provide you with proven and evidence-based advice or refer you to a specialist in this area.
Exercise assists with the prevention or management of chronic disease. Your doctor is a great first point of call if you want to start or change your exercise routine. They can also refer you to a specialist in this area.
Whooping cough vaccinations for new parents and grandparents
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs and airways, causing a person to cough violently and uncontrollably.
Infants are not fully vaccinated against this terrible disease until they are six months of age. Therefore, a booster dose of the adult whooping cough vaccine is recommended for all parents of newborns. Grandparents and other carers in contact with children less than six months old should also have a booster, even if they have been immunised previously or been infected with whooping cough.
The flu vaccine is recommended for any person six months of age and over who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with the flu. Flu vaccines are free for people over 65 and people with risk factors. The flu vaccine is required annually to vaccinate against new strains of the flu virus.
The National Immunisation Program includes the following Adolescent Vaccinations:
– 12-13 years – Human Papillomavirus
– 14-16 years – Meningococcal
Vaccination for adults is just as important as it is for children. The information provided on this page is a general guide to immunisations for adults aged 20 to 64 years old.
The kind of vaccines you need will depend on several factors, including:
- Whether you missed out on childhood vaccines
- If you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
- Your job
- Your age
- Whether you plan on travelling.
Speak to your doctor or vaccination provider about your or your family’s specific needs.
Some recommended vaccines are funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP), or state and territory programs, while other vaccines can be purchased privately with a prescription.
The vaccines listed below are part of the routine childhood schedule and generally adults will not need boosters. However, you should speak to your doctor or vaccination provider if the following vaccines were unavailable during your childhood, or you are not sure whether you received them.
- Chickenpox (varicella)
- Hepatitis B
A booster is an extra dose of a vaccine that you have had before. Its purpose is to ‘boost’ the immune system. The following vaccinations need booster doses:
- Whooping cough
When you better understand your reason for smoking, you will be better prepared to quit smoking.
There are three main reasons for smoking – addiction, habit, and emotion. Smoking not only harms you, but also those around you. Take the first step – make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the options available to help you quit smoking.
Alcohol Use Assessment
If you have concerns or questions about your use of alcohol. You can complete the assessment on the following link: https://alcoholthinkagain.com.au/alcohol-your-health/online-tools/5-minutedrinking-audit/
You can also discuss any concerns as well as your quiz results with your doctor.
Aged Care Assessment
Our practice can help facilitate aged care assessments to assist carers support frail, older people. The assessment addresses the physical, psychological, medical, and social needs of the patient.
Care Coordination (Home Services, Respite or Nursing Home Services)
At Stirling Central Health Clinic, we can assist our patients with complex care needs and multiple service providers to navigate the service system and access appropriate services.