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The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 05-November-2010, Vol 123 No 1325

This Issue in the Journal
The Voice of Experience: Results from Cancer Control New Zealand's first national cancer care survey
Inga O’Brien, Emma Britton, Diana Sarfati, Wayne Naylor, Barry Borman, Lis Ellison-Loschmann, Andrew Simpson, Craig Tamblyn, Chris Atkinson
A first ever survey of the experiences of people seeking outpatient cancer treatment in the New Zealand health system reveals very high satisfaction levels, balanced by plenty of room for improvement. The results of the 2009 Cancer Care Survey show 97% of survey respondents were satisfied with publicly funded outpatient cancer care. Most people were very positive about their care coordination and the level of privacy, dignity and respect provided by healthcare professionals. Areas for improvement include provision of emotional support and information, and consideration of the patient’s circumstances in planning treatment.
Predictors of physical activity and quality of life in New Zealand prostate cancer survivors undergoing androgen-deprivation therapy
Justin W L Keogh, Daniel Shepherd, Christian U Krägeloh, Clare Ryan, Jonathan Masters, Greg Shepherd, Rod MacLeod
Men with prostate cancer had lower levels of quality of life than those without the cancer. Although less than 50% of the cancer survivors were categorised as physically active, those who were active had greater quality of life than those who were less active. Increased levels of physical activity may therefore help increase the cancer survivors’ quality of life; and this may be achieved by focusing on the survivors’ attitudes to exercise as well as the extent to which they believe they control their exercise behaviour.
Robot-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy: a 2010 update
James B Duthie, Joanna E Pickford, Peter J Gilling
RALP is a technique which has replaced Open Prostatectomy in most major institutions in the US and Europe. The learning curve is short for skilled open surgeons and satisfactory outcomes can be achieved after a relatively small number of cases. This procedure has been successfully introduced into Australasia in recent times with results which are similar to large international series.
Immunohistochemical testing for colon cancer—what do New Zealand surgeons know?
Simon J Harper, Alison R McEwen, Elizabeth R Dennett
8–12% of colorectal cancers are associated with genetic syndromes, i.e. are hereditary. The most common of these is Lynch Syndrome for which there are clinical criteria (Bethesda) that can be used to identify colorectal cancer patients who may have this syndrome. If identified testing can be undertaken to confirm the diagnosis. A pathologist who screens the cancer specimens with special stains initially undertakes the testing. Treating surgeons need to know these clinical criteria in order to request appropriate testing from pathologists. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of New Zealand surgeons about the Bethesda criteria.
A comparative analysis of cardiovascular disease risk profiles of five Pacific ethnic groups assessed in New Zealand primary care practice: PREDICT CVD-13
Corina Grey, Sue Wells, Tania Riddell, Romana Pylypchuk, Roger Marshall, Paul Drury, Raina Elley, Shanthi Ameratunga, Dudley Gentles, Stephanie Erick-Peleti, Fionna Bell, Andrew Kerr, Rod Jackson
Few studies have compared the cardiovascular risk factor profiles of different Pacific ethnic groups in New Zealand. The PREDICT study is the largest to date measuring cardiovascular disease risk factors in Pacific peoples (11,642 aged 35–74 years). We found differences in various cardiovascular disease risk factors, including smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, between five Pacific ethnic groups (Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Maori, Niuean or Other Pacific). Despite these differences in individual risk factors, the estimated risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event varied very little between Pacific groups.
Pathology referrals for skin lesions—are we giving the pathologist sufficient clinical information?
Marius Rademaker, Murray Thorburn
This audit shows that in over a third of histology requests, important clinical information was not included. Sixty percent of confirmed malignant lesions had not been identified on the request form as being malignant, including 87% of melanomas, 55% of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and 43% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). The specimen was inadequate to make a diagnosis in 6.7% of cases. Finally, 40% of lesions suspected of being a melanoma were sampled by punch biopsy, which is considered suboptimal. Clearly there is room for improvement.
     
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