Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Cairns Doctors on Barr St

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Breast Cancer Awareness month

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow in an uncontrolled way.

Breasts are made up of lobules and ducts surrounded by fatty and connective tissue. Lobules produce breast milk and ducts carry milk to the nipple.

What are the different types of Breast Cancer?

There are several different types of breast cancer.

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) are non-invasive breast cancers that are confined to the ducts or lobules of the breast
  • Invasive ductal or lobular carcinoma is an invasive breast cancer that starts in the ducts or lobules of the breast and can spread into the breast tissue.  Invasive breast cancer may be confined to the breast and lymph nodes in the armpit (early breast cancer) or may have spread outside the breast to other parts of the body (secondary breast cancer)
  • Paget’s disease of the nipple is a rare form of breast cancer that affects the nipple and the area around the nipple (the areola) and is commonly associated with an invasive cancer elsewhere in the breast
  • Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of invasive breast cancer that affects the lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast, causing the breast to become red and inflamed

What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer?

The symptoms of breast cancer depend on where the tumour is in the breast, the size of the tumour and how quickly it is growing.

Breast changes that may indicate breast cancer include:

  • a new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
  • a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
  • a change in the skin of the breast such as redness or dimpling
  • an unusual pain that doesn’t go away

There are a number of conditions that may cause these symptoms, not just breast cancer. If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is important that they are discussed with a doctor.

What are the risks factors for Breast Cancer?

A risk factor is any factor that is associated with an increased chance of developing a particular health condition, such as breast cancer. There are different types of risk factors, some of which can be modified and some which cannot. It should be noted that having one or more risk factors does not mean a person will develop breast cancer. Many people have at least one risk factor but will never develop breast cancer, while others with breast cancer may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with breast cancer has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease.

While Cancer Australia develops material based on the best available evidence, this information is not intended to be used as a substitute for an independent health professional’s advice.  While the causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease.

Some of the risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • being a woman
  • increasing age
  • having a strong family history of breast cancer
  • having a breast condition such as a personal history of breast cancer, DCIS or LCIS
  • a number of hormonal factors, child-bearing history, personal and lifestyle factors

How is Breast Cancer diagnosed?

Diagnosis of breast cancer involves the triple test.

This includes:

  • a clinical breast examination
  • imaging tests – which may include a mammogram or ultrasound taking
  • a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the breast for examination under a microscope
  • Other tests, such as blood tests or bone scans, may be done if symptoms suggest that breast cancer has spread outside the breast.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be suggested to assess extent of disease in some cases.

Treatment options

Treatment and care of people with cancer is usually provided by a team of health professionals – called a multidisciplinary team.

Treatment for breast cancer depends on the stage and type of the disease, the severity of symptoms and the person’s general health. Treatment usually involves surgery to remove part or all of the affected breast, and removal of one or more lymph nodes from the armpit. Breast reconstruction may be available for women who have the whole breast removed (mastectomy). Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapies, and/or targeted therapies, may also be used.

Research is ongoing to find new ways to diagnose and treat different types of cancer. Some people may be offered the option of participation in a clinical trial to test new ways of treating breast cancer.

Help us support National Breast Cancer Foundation

Cairns Doctors on Barr St have registered to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast as part of our fundraising efforts this month.

Donations can be made by clicking here.

The morning tea is Top Secret for the moment, but put the 26th of October in your calendar to come on down, join us in feasting on delicious coffee and food, listen to Dave and Maddi from Star 102.7 as they give live updates as our Managers hair is first bleached, and then dyed pink!


Please help us in raising these funds, as we’d like to see Adam with Pink hair, but more importantly, we would like to raise at least $5,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help them reach their goal of ZERO deaths from Breast Cancer by 2030!

For more information:

Cancer Council

National Breast Cancer Foundation


If you or a loved one has any concerns about Breast Cancer, or your health in general please call our reception team on 07 4242 5300 and they can help you book an appointment that suits you.  For a booking for a breast check, please check online for an appointment clicking on “Breast Check” when prompted for appointment type.

Thank you




Popular Skin Cancer Doctor Dr Konny Komlovari moves her practice Cairns Doctors on Barr St

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Welcome Dr Konny Komlovari!

Cairns Doctors on Barr St welcomes Dr Konny and her Practice!


Popular local Skin Cancer Doctor Dr Konny Komlovari opened her practice today, relocating to Cairns Doctors on Barr St adding her services and appointment availability!


Having spent the last several years working exclusively as a Skin Cancer Doctor, Dr Konny is focused on providing the best care she can to sun touched patients.


Dr Konny is currently only seeing Skin Cancer Doctor related patients, so please book online here or call and speak with the amazing Medical Reception team 07 4242 5300


Sadly, Skin Cancer and Melanoma rates are on the rise.


According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,  Australia had the world’s second highest incidence rate of melanoma, at 35 new cases a year per 100,000 people (slightly behind New Zealand, at 36 per 100,000).

This was more than 11 times as high as the estimated average worldwide rate (3 per 100,000) (Globocan 2012).

Melanoma is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia (AIHW & AACR 2014).

Evidence suggests that exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of developing melanoma, but the risk is not directly proportional to the level of exposure. Studies show a strong association between intermittent sun exposure and the risk of melanoma (Hacker 2011).

  • Skin cancer is a major cause of illness in Australia
  • Hospitalisations for skin cancer are on the rise
  • Survival from melanoma is relatively high
  • Melanoma is less common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • There is substantial spending on skin cancer each year

You have to ask yourself this question, When was your last Skin Check?


If you can’t answer or don’t remember, give us a call today and ask for an appointment with one of our Skin Cancer Doctors.



Dr Malcolm seeing all patients – Cairns Doctors on Barr St

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Urgent Update

In light of Dr Matthew and Mrs Karen Warburton’s departure, many patients have been wondering who to see regarding their ongoing care.


We have spoken with Dr Malcolm and for all patients wondering who will see them in light of their departure he has advised us that he will see you for your ongoing Medical needs.


He will need to see you and assess you and your medical history first, and will not be able to provide a script without an appointment.


For the moment we are not offering a phone script service, so please make sure you make an appointment before you run out of medication.


Bulk Billing is available to all Centrelink Cardholders (Health Care Card, Concession Card, or Pension Card), all DVA families, Under 18’s, Full Time students with School ID, and all patients of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.


Medicare rebates can be processed on the day, so long as you have with you an EFTPOS card on you as the rebate cannot be paid onto a Credit Card.  Visa or MasterCard debit cards are fine as these both are linked to your Savings or Cheque account.


For an appointment, please ask for an appointment with Dr Malcolm or book online by clicking here.

Welcome Dr Paul Sandery – Not retired – Joined Cairns Doctors

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Cairns Doctors is pleased to welcome Dr Paul Sandery to our team.


Dr Paul joins Cairns Doctors from Earlville General Practice where he spent the last 16 years look after the Cairns Community.


He brings with him over three decades of experience and a passion for General Practice Medicine, leaving very few stones unturned in his medical career.


Dr Paul is passionate about training the next generation of  doctors and will be helping Cairns Doctors host undergraduate medical students as they journey towards becoming Doctors.

For an appointment with Dr Paul, book online or call 07 4242 5300 and speak with our of our fantastic receptionists.


Thank you

2019 Flu Season – Cairns Doctors

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The team at Cairns Doctors and Barr St Wholehealth Discount Drug Store are for you and your family this Flu Season..

Government funded vaccines will be available from approximately mid-April (watch this page for the exact date).
We have Private stock available now for those who do not meet the criteria or would like to be immunised now.
These can be purchased from Cairns Doctors or from Wholehealth Pharmacy right next door for $12!
Our Flu Clinic is again Bulk Billed this year if you are only attending for the Flu Vaccine – We are also running a walk-in clinic between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday – Appointments can also be made.
Corporate Vaccine clinics also available – please contact us at if you would like us to come to you and vaccinate your workforce.
For more information, please refer to the below from the 2019 Influenza Vaccination Guide.

2019 influenza vaccination guidelines

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.

Free vaccines will be available to eligible Queenslanders from mid April.

Vaccine strains

The 2019 seasonal influenza vaccines for the southern hemisphere include the following strains:

  • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Switzerland 8060/2017 (H3N2) like virus
  • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
  • B: a B/Colorado/06/2017 like virus (not included in the TIVs)

Best timing for vaccination

The timing of vaccination should aim to achieve the highest level of protection during the peak of the influenza season. This usually occurs from June to September in most parts of Australia. Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season takes place. While protection is generally expected to last for the whole season, the best protection against influenza occurs within the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.

It is never too late to vaccinate since influenza can circulate in the community all year round. Vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available. Some vaccine brands now have an expiry date of February 2020.

It is also important to remind people that the vaccine isn’t immediately effective and it generally takes 10 to 14 days to be fully protected after vaccination.

Revaccination late in the same year for individuals who have already received a vaccination is not routinely recommended, although not contraindicated. Revaccination may be considered for people travelling to the Northern Hemisphere in late 2019, who were vaccinated in early 2019 before the Southern Hemisphere influenza season occurred. An individual’s risk factors, risk of disease and current circulating virus strains should be taken into consideration before recommending a second dose. A second dose is not funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and the individual will need to pay for the vaccine and consultation fee, if applicable.

Who is eligible?

Generally, influenza vaccines are funded under the state and national immunisation programs for the following groups due to their increased risk of complications from influenza:

  • all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age (State funded)
  • pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy (influenza and whooping cough vaccination can be given at the same time OR at different times during pregnancy). More information about whooping cough and influenza vaccination for pregnant women is available
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications (for a full list go to NCIRS Influenza Vaccines Fact Sheet)
  • persons 65 years and older.

All other Queenslanders can purchase the vaccine from their doctor or immunisation provider.

Only one government-funded influenza vaccine is available for eligible people each year, with the exception of children up to 9 years of age who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time. These children require, and are are funded for 2 doses.

2019 season influenza vaccines

In 2019, the funded vaccines available include:

Quadrivalent influenza vaccines for:

  • all children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza
  • individuals up to 65 years.
Trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) are recommended for:
  • adults aged 65 years and over
Age restrictions apply to all vaccine brands (see Vaccine restrictions).

Higher Immunogenicity Trivalent for over 65s

  • The higher immunogenicity trivalent flu vaccine is the best form of protection against flu for older Queenslanders.
  • People aged 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from influenza infection, and have the highest influenza-associated death rates each year.
  • Global experts recommend the trivalent vaccine for this cohort for several important reasons:
    • Older people do not respond as well to standard influenza vaccine as the immune system response to influenza vaccine decreases with age.
    • The enhanced vaccine is designed specifically to increase the immune system’s response to vaccine, especially against the influenza A/H3N2 strain which is more common and severe in people aged 65 years and older.
    • Australian surveillance data shows those aged 65 years and older are affected more by ‘A’ strains that are circulating in the community, than they are by ‘B’ strains.
    • Research also shows that older people tend ot have a level of immunity to B strains because of exposure to these strains in previous seasons.
    • Although the enhanced vaccine contains one less B strain virus, the benefits of better and broader protection against the strains included will outweigh any potential loss of protection against the missing alternative B strain virus.

In 2019, only Fluad® (TIV containing an adjuvant) is NIP-funded. Fluzone® High-Dose is not offered as part of the national influenza immunisation program for 2019 but can be purchased through the private market.

Vaccine restrictions

  • Afluria Quad® brand is NOT registered for use in any person under 5 years of age.
  • Only FluQuadri Junior can be used for children aged 6 to 35 months of age.
  • Adult (0.50mL) doses cannot be halved to make a paediatric dose.
  • Influenza vaccines are not registered for use in any infant under 6 months of age.

Fluzone® High-Dose and Fluad® are only registered for people aged ≥65 years and older.

Influenza Immunisation Program advice (Queensland) 2019

View a summary of the Queensland government’s 2019 influenza immunisation program advice. This provides a pictoral summary of:

  • which vaccines to give for specific age groups
  • instramuscular injection sites
  • information regarding people with medical conditions who are eligible for funded influenza vaccine and
  • vaccine ordering and supply details
Vaccine orders can be placed weekly until the end of May.

Recording vaccines administered

All influenza vaccinations given to children and adults should be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Use your practice software or enter influenza vaccinations onto the AIR encounter screen.


The Queensland Government is providing free influenza vaccine for children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age.

The free vaccine is available through general practice and other childhood immunisation providers from mid-April.


  • 6 months to 3 years: give 0.25mL dose
  • ≥3 of age and older: give 0.50mL dose

Additional dosage requirements:

  • Children aged 6 months to under 9 years of age require 2 doses (at least 4 weeks apart) in the first year they receive the influenza vaccine.
  • If a child aged 6 months to 9 years of age has received 1 or 2 doses of any influenza vaccine in the first year the vaccine was given, only 1 dose is required in each subsequent year.
  • 2 doses (at least 4 weeks apart) are recommended for persons aged 9 years or older, following haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant. For further details access the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Pregnant women

Influenza is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in healthy women who are not pregnant. Vaccination protects the mother and their infants. Influenza vaccine is recommended in every pregnancy and at any stage of pregnancy.

If not already given at an earlier opportunity, influenza vaccine can be given at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine in the third trimester (preferably between 28 to 32 weeks).

People 65 years and older

Vaccination is particularly important for people in this age group as they are at high risk of complications from influenza.

The trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) Fluad®,, is provided for people aged 65 years and older. It is an adjuvanted vaccine which is a standard dose flu vaccine with an added adjuvant to help create a stronger immune response to the vaccination.

It is not registered for use in people aged less than 65 years of age.

More information

Welcome to Dr Prasanth Sivasankar – Cairns Doctors

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Dr Prasanth Sivasankar joins Cairns Doctors


Cairns Doctors would like to introduce Dr Prasanth Sivasankar, who has been caring for Cairns and the community since 2012.


Dr Prasanth is a GP with a Special Interest in Diabetes and Endocrine Pathology’s, Geriatric and Palliative Care Medicine, Indigenous Health, and Managing Chronic Medical Conditions.


Dr Prasanth completed his Masters in Public Health at Deakin University in Melbourne 2009 before moving to Mount Isa and now Cairns.


During this time, he became passionate about Indigenous Health and Chornic Diseases.


All existing patients of Dr Prasanth are welcome to see him here at Cairns Doctors, with new patients to Dr Prasanth and to Cairns Doctors more than welcome.


Book online or call the practice on 07 4242 5300 for an appointment today.


Thank you

Cairns Doctors Welcomes Dr Gagandeep Rajpal to our team

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Introducing Dr Gagandeep (Gagan) Rajpal

Dedicated to improving local lives, Dr Gagan Rajpal is looking forward to bringing his wealth of knowledge and services in Chronic Disease Management, Aboriginal Health, Diabetes, and Paediatrics to new and existing patients of Cairns Doctors.


He also provides general family medicine and GP services.

Secure your appointment with Dr Gagan Rajpal online now or by phoning 07 4242 5300 today


Thank you

Lynda Carlyle – Cairns Doctors –

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With qualifications in nursing, sexology and couple’s therapy, and almost two decades of experience in clinical settings and private practice, Lynda Carlyle has a wealth of knowledge to share.


She is a Director, a Life Member and the National Accreditation Officer of the Society of Australian Sexologists Ltd (SAS). Lynda has served the Society in many roles including National Chair, and is a Standing Member of the Asia Oceania Federation for Sexology (AOFS).


Lynda is a SAS accredited Clinical Psychosexual Therapist, a Registered Nurse, a Level 4 Member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and a Member of their College of Clinical Supervisors.


Lynda has been a guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne, and in 2019 will present to doctors at Monash University about sexuality.


She has spoken at national and international conferences/events, appears as an expert on national radio and in print media, and has written a sex and relationships advice column for the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne.


Lynda has an interest in the use of quality adult products & medical devices that enhance and assist sexual functioning. She has an online shop of carefully selected pleasure products that allows the public to access those products she recommends for her clients.


With deep friendships and close family working and living locally for 20+ years, Cairns feels like coming home. Based in Melbourne, Lynda is a keen traveller, scuba diver, wake-boarder and yoga enthusiast.


Excited to be offering the Far North community access to specialized services usually found in capital cities, Lynda does general counselling, couple’s therapy and/or sex therapy, and also offers clinical supervision in all those areas.


Lynda will be consulting in Cairns the second week of each month commencing 17th December 2018.


To book a sessions, please call Cairns Doctors on 07 4242 5300.

Lynda Charges $175.00 per 1 hour session.

A referral is not required to see Lynda, and currently there is no Medicare Rebates available for her time.



Social Media

Welcome Dr Arno Ebner – Paediatrician – Cairns Doctors

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Dear Cairns,

Re: Dr Arno Ebner – Consultant Paediatrician

We are pleased to announce that Dr Arno Ebner has joined Cairns Doctors and will be providing General and Behavioural Paediatric Clinics.

His professional interests include Paediatric haematology and oncology, palliative care, rheumatology, chronic pain, behavioural, allergy, asthma, infectious disease and travel health medicine.

Dr Arno will be welcoming all referrals for General and Behavioural Paediatrics.

Telehealth appointments available for patients and practices located in the Tablelands, Kuranda, Port Douglas, and from Gordonvale South.

Dr Arno Ebner originally trained as a Paediatric nurse at the Rudolf Virchow University Children’s Hospital in Berlin/Germany. After a short excursion into Geophysics at the Technical University of Berlin, he went on to study medicine at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz/Germany and Albert Ludwig’s University in Freiburg/Germany.

He specialised in Paediatrics at the University Children’s Hospital in Greifswald/Germany with part of his training at the Tulane Hospital for Children in New Orleans/USA and at McMaster University in Hamilton/Canada.

He has worked in child nutrition and immunology and neonatology research in Germany and for the German Doctors for Developing Countries in Manila/Philippines and Chittagong/Bangladesh.

He graduated as a specialist consultant in Germany and New Zealand and became a Fellow of the RACP in 2012. From 2008-2015 he worked as a Paediatrician and senior lecturer in Timaru and Wellington / New Zealand in General Paediatrics and Paediatric Haematology and Oncology before moving to rural Australia in Mount Gambier and Traralgon 2015-2018.

Dr Arno’s clinic will be offering Bulk billing to Pension & Concession Card Holders, DVA Families, and all Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander patients as part of the commitment to closing the gap. Health Care Card holders will be offered a reduced fee per the following schedule:

PrivateConcessionRebateOut of Pocket
Initial assessment single concern$250.00$200.00$130.20$119.80$69.80
Initial Assessment  more than 1 concern / behavioural / developmental$350.00$300.00$227.70$122.30$72.30
Review of more than 1 concern / behavioural / developmental$200.00$150.00$114.00$86.00$36.00
Review of single concern$125.00$75.00$65.20$59.80$9.80


All referrals can be sent to Cairns Doctors electronically through secure messaging service (i.e. Medical Objects, Healthlink, etc.), or by

  • email (
  • post Po Box 666, Earlville, Qld. 4870
  • Fax available, (07) 4242 5353

Secure messaging service as the preferred method please.

*Please note that referrals will be accepted for one-year, indefinite referrals will not be accepted.

Dr Arno Ebner is looking forward to work with you and if you have any questions or would like him to provide teaching or other support he is always happy to be contacted. Please contact the practice directly by email or by phone (07) 4242 5300.

Thank you


R U OK – Everyday – Cairns Doctors

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What is R U OK?

  • A national suicide prevention charity dedicated to encouraging and empowering everyone to ask, “Are you OK?” of anyone struggling with life
  • Our vision is a world where we’re all connected and protected from suicide
  • We work alongside other mental health and suicide prevention organisations to ensure those who are struggling find the care and support they need

R U OK?Day

  • R U OK?Day is Thursday 13th September – it’s a national day of action to remind us to ask, “are you ok?” of those around us and to support anyone struggling with life
  • R U OK?Day is held on the second Thursday of September, each year
  • 2018 is our tenth R U OK?Day

Where can people find help

  • Sometimes conversations are too big for friends and family, and professional support is needed. This is where mental health and suicide prevention service providers can help
  • If there is any danger to yourself or to someone else, please attend the nearest Emergency Department or call 000 and engage with emergency services to get help for yourself or someone else
  • Remember, a GP can play a vital role in helping you, your loved one, or whoever is in need
  • For extra support, conversation tips and help-seeking information, go to


  • 2,866 Australians died by suicide in 2016. That’s about 8 people every day
  • For every death by suicide, it’s estimated 30 people will attempt to take their life
  • 89% of people report knowing someone who has attempted suicide
  • Males account for 75% of deaths by suicide

R U OK’s work

  • R U OK? encourages everyone to invest more quality time in the people around them as when our relationships are strong, we’re more likely to see the signs that someone may be struggling and are better placed to start a meaningful conversation with that person
  • R U OK? aims to empower all Australians to have the confidence and skills to have a conversation with someone who may be struggling with life
  • R U OK? encourages the help-giver to act when they see signs that someone’s struggling, notice changes or just feel that something’s not quite right with a friend, colleague, loved one, team mate or neighbor
  • R U OK? promotes four conversation steps:
    • 1. Ask R U OK?
    • 2. Listen
    • 3. Encourage action
    • 4. Check in
  • R U OK? encourages everyone to start a conversation as early as possible, as the earlier you reach out, the more likely the outcome will be a positive one.

2018 Campaign theme: ‘Every day is R U OK?Day’

  • This year R U OK celebrate’s their tenth R U OK?Day
  • Since their humble beginnings in 2009, 78% of Australians are now aware of the R U OK? message with 63% believing that the campaign has made people more willing to ask their friends about what’s troubling them
  • Asking, “Are you R U OK?” is no longer a question for a single day – it’s a meaningful conversation starter for every day of the year
  • Noticing someone isn’t quite themselves and asking, “Are you OK?” needs to happen every day of the year
  • Every day people experience life’s ups and down and things like grief, relationship breakdown, financial difficulty or losing a job. Sadly, at these times many people feel they don’t have anyone to confide in
  • The signs someone may be struggling may be subtle but some common signs are changes in behavior, sleep patterns, energy levels and mood
  • Any day we notice those signs or feel that something’s not quite right, we need to trust our gut instinct, ask R U OK? and start a conversation that could change a life

For more information, please head to


Out of the Shadows – LifeLine Cairns – Cairns Doctors

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You can make a difference by participating in Lifeline’s Out of the Shadows – national suicide prevention walks held to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10 every year.

Join us as we walk to raise awareness, remember those lost to suicide and unite in a commitment to prevent further deaths by suicide.

Get involved by joining a walk or organising a walk in your local community.


World Suicide Prevention Day

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds.

Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. In Australia more than 2500 people die each year with latest figures (2014) telling us that 2,864 Australians took their own life.

Research also tells us that some 65,000 think about attempting suicide each year.

The tragic ripple effect means that there are many, many more people who have been bereaved by suicide or have been close to someone who has tried to take his or her own life, as well as those struggling to manage suicidal ideation.


‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’ is the theme of the 2018 World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September).

This theme was chosen internationally as it highlights the most essential ingredient for effective global suicide prevention- collaboration. We all have a role to play and together we can collectively address the challenges presented by suicidal behaviour in society today.

On September 10th, join with us and many others across the world who are playing their part in the prevention of suicide.

This year’s WSPD theme also complements the efforts of everyone’s friends on R U OK? Day  (13 September) who support taking time to notice what’s going on with your family, friends and colleagues – and yourself. It is about taking time to have have those conversation when you notice something has changed and equipping yourself to help yourself and others.

If you, or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide:

  • LifeLine offers a 24 hour a day service by calling 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Your GP also can play a vital role in identifying help options for you or your loved one.  The GP can review and refer to many services (including Psychologists), that with a GP referral you or your loved one can attend with no out of pocket expense.


In an emergency, please always call 000, or attend the nearest Emergency department.


Join us this Monday the 10th of September, as we ‘Walk out of the Shadows’, working together to prevent suicide.


For more information, please see the following links below:

Out of the Shadows:

Suicide Prevention Australia:



Assessing Fitness to Drive – Cairns Doctors

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Medical fitness to drive

If you apply or renew your Queensland driver licence, you must notify The Department of Transport about any medical condition that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

You must notify The Department of Transport if after you get or renew your Queensland driver licence you develop a permanent or long-term medical condition, or if you have a permanent or long-term increase in, or other aggravation of a medical condition that is likely to affect your ability to drive safely.

If your condition is temporary you don’t need to notify us unless the medical condition becomes long-term or permanent and is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

If you do not notify The Department of Transport about your medical condition, you may receive a maximum court-imposed fine of more than $7,800 and your driver licence may be cancelled.

Your health professional is legally permitted to notify us about your medical condition.

Medical conditions

Some of the more common medical conditions that are likely to affect your ability to drive safely include:

  • blackouts
  • diabetes
  • eye or vision problems
  • heart disease
  • neurological – dementia, stroke, seizures or epilepsy
  • psychiatric disorders
  • sleep disorders
  • alcohol or drug dependency


Drivers 75 and over are subject to regular medical assessments as well.


This means that if you are 75 or over, and want to keep driving, you must go back to your doctor at least once per year.  This does not affect the expiry date of your driver’s license, which is shown on your driver’s licence.

In some cases, your doctor may want to undertake more regular checks, and your Medical Certificate may be issued for a shorter period.  If you doctor issues a medical certificate for longer than 13 months, you may only use the certificate for 13 months from the issue date.

Permanent or long-term medical conditions

You need to have your medical fitness to drive assessed if you develop a permanent or long-term medical condition, or an increase in or change to an existing medical condition, that is likely to adversely affect your ability to drive safely.

If you are uncertain about your medical condition, and the impact it may have on your ability to drive safely, we recommend that you consult your health professional.

There are 2 medical standards:

  • private vehicle driver standard
  • commercial vehicle standard.

You will be assessed against the standard of driver licence that you hold or apply for and the purpose for which you drive, or plan to drive.

You must respond truthfully to questions from health professionals regarding your health status.

Drivers Medical’s cannot be booked online, as you need to see one of our nurses first, who will conduct some tests on you, before seeing a doctor.  For long term medical conditions and medications, it is best practice to always try and see your usual doctor, or if they are away, someone else in the practice who has seen you before and can review your medical file with you on the day.

Specialist assessment

Some medical conditions need assessment by a specialist qualified in managing your particular medical condition. Your general practitioner will refer you to a specialist who will undertake further assessment of your medical condition and provide a report back to your general practitioner.

If you can’t see a specialist and you have been assessed by your health professional as not meeting the criteria to hold an unconditional licence, talk to your health professional about whether you meet the criteria to hold a conditional licence.

While waiting for the specialist assessment, you may be permitted to drive if:

  • you have an appointment to see the relevant specialist at the earliest practicable opportunity


  • in the opinion of your health professional your medical condition is not likely to lead to an acute incapacity, or loss of concentration before the assessment occurs.


What are the costs?


As driving is accepted as being a necessity, any medically required assessments (private vehicle driver) are covered by Medicare.  This means that a Medicare rebate is available, or if you are being bulk-billed there is no out of pocket expense.

Driving for work (commercial vehicle driver) is not covered by Medicare, and a fee is payable at time of the appointment.  You will be supplied with a Tax Invoice as this is a legitimate expense for your business or employment.

Commercial Drivers Fees (as of 1 July 2018, prices reviewed each July – please contact reception for the revised fees)

  • Basic Commercial:- $100.00 + GST
  • Basic Commercial + Drug(instant) and Alcohol Screen(DAS):- $160 + GST
    • In the event of a positive DAS, the collected sample can be sent to the lab for an in-depth review. Payment of $150.00 plus GST is required before the sample can be sent
  • Detailed Commercial + DAS + Physiometric Assessment:- $250 + GST


The easiest way to determine if you require a Commercial Drivers Assessment is if you are driving for work, or earn a living from your license.

Examples being:

  • Bus Driver
  • Truck Driver
  • Taxi Driver
  • Uber Driver
  • Courier/Delivery Drier
  • Limousine driver

For all Drivers Medicals, Private or Commercial, please call our amazing Medical Reception team on 07 4242 5300 and book a time with one of our nurses, and your usual or preferred Doctor.

For all other bookings, online is available by clicking here.

Type 2 Diabetes – Cairns Doctors

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Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Is diagnosed when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (reduced insulin production) and/or the insulin does not work effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance)
  • Represents 85–90 per cent of all cases of diabetes
  • Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults
  • Is more likely in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or from particular ethnic backgrounds
  • For some the first sign may be a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems or a foot ulcer
  • Is managed with a combination of regular physical activityhealthy eating and weight reduction. As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes over time.

What happens with type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes develops over a long period of time (years). During this period of time insulin resistance starts, this is where the insulin is increasingly ineffective at managing the blood glucose levels. As a result of this insulin resistance, the pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts of insulin, to try and achieve some degree of management of the blood glucose levels.

As insulin overproduction occurs over a very long period of time, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas wear themselves out, so that by the time someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have lost 50 – 70% of their insulin producing cells. This means type 2 diabetes is a combination of ineffective insulin and not enough insulin. When people refer to type 2 diabetes as a progressive condition they are referring to the ongoing destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

Initially, type 2 diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. Over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will eventually require insulin. It is important to note that this is the natural progression of the condition, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer long-term complications.

What causes type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes runs in the family. If you have a family member with diabetes, you have a genetic disposition to the condition.

While people may have a strong genetic disposition towards type 2 diabetes, the risk is greatly increased if people display a number of modifiable lifestyle factors including high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.

People are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if they:

  • have a family history of diabetes
  • are older (over 55 years of age ) – the risk increases as we age
  • are over 45 years of age and are overweight
  • are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
  • are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background
  • are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Check your risk – answer 10 short questions on the diabetes risk calculator.

Read our section on preventing type 2 diabetes.


Many people with type 2 diabetes display no symptoms. As type 2 diabetes is commonly (but not always) diagnosed at a later age, sometimes signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. In some cases, by the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present.

Symptoms include:

  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Passing more urine
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually putting on weight
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps

Managing Type 2 Diabetes

While there is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, the condition can be managed through lifestyle modifications and medication. Type 2 diabetes is progressive and needs to be managed effectively to prevent complications.

If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have a family member with type 2 diabetes, view information on managing type 2 diabetes.

For more information, or if you or someone you know has concerns regarding their health, call and make an appointment or book online today!

National Diabetes Week 8 – 14 July 2018 – Cairns Doctors

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National Diabetes Week 2018

In their 50th year, Diabetes Queensland asks for your help to promote public awareness of all types of diabetes, the symptoms of diabetes and why a timely diabetes diagnosis makes a big difference.


It’s about time takes up our warning in 2017 that more than 100,000 Queenslanders have type 2 diabetes but don’t know it. We want everyone to know about type 2, check for type 2 and diagnose type 2 early.


It’s about time is a reminder that in 60 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes, early diagnosis can prevent the onset of serious complications such as blindness, kidney or cardiovascular disease and lower limb amputations.


It’s about time identifies the sudden onset of type 1 diabetes and that any delay in a type 1 diagnosis increases the risk of the medical emergency of diabetic ketoacidosis.


In National Diabetes Week 2018, take time to learn the four ‘T’s of a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.


  • Thirsty – really thirsty and unable to quench that thirst?
  • Toilet – going to the toilet a lot?
  • Tired – more tired than usual?
  • Thinner – recently lost weight?

If you see these signs, see your doctor straight away.

Who is at risk?

Many Australians are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While family history and genetics play a role, your lifestyle can also have a significant effect on whether you develop type 2 diabetes.


Your risk for type 2 diabetes is higher if you:
  • Have a family history type 2 diabetes
  • Developed diabetes during pregnancy
  • Are more than 40 years of age
  • Are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • Don’t get enough exercise
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are overweight, measured as body mass index > 25 (weight/height2)
  • Have a waist measurement above 94cm for men, or 80cm for women
  • Have a poor diet, containing too much fatty and sugary food


You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by:
  • Reducing the amount of kilojoules (fat and sugar) in your diet
  • Eating healthy foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Losing weight (if you are overweight)
  • Exercising for 30 minutes each day, and
  • Reducing your alcohol intake


If you are concerned that yourself or someone else is at risk of becoming diabetic, call and make an appointment 07 4242 5300 or online here

If you are over 40, call and ask our friendly reception staff to book you in with one of our Nurses and your usual Doctor for a health assessment today! 07 4242 5300

June 18 – 24 is World Continence Week! – Cairns Doctors

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What can I ask my GP about incontinence?


Few people relish the thought of discussing their toilet habits with a GP. You should never feel embarrassed about discussing incontinence with a doctor. They are professionally-trained to relate to such matters.


Doctors are accustomed to dealing with issues of an intimate nature, including bladder and bowel problems. Do not let nerves stop you from taking the first step. The first time you discuss it is the hardest. But the more you talk about it, the easier it will become.


So how do you start the conversation?


The first step to improve your incontinence is to open the discussion with your doctor. Come to your appointment prepared with information about your bladder and bowel. Your doctor will not be in a position to help you unless you tell them what is happening to your body. You know your body, your routines, and you can identify changes in how you feel, better than anyone else. Your input is vital.


Before your appointment, it may help to think about and discuss with your GP:

  • How often does the incontinence occur?
  • Is it bladder or bowel incontinence?
  • When did it start?
  • What times of the day is the incontinence worse?
  • Is there complete saturation, or just a small amount of urine or faeces?
  • Do you have a fever? Or have you found it painful to go to the toilet?
  • Is passing a bowel motion painful?
  • What prescription and over-the-counter medication are you taking, if any?

                Questions you may wish to ask your GP:

  • What type or type/s of incontinence do you suspect I have?
  • What type of bowel problem do I have?
  • Might my incontinence be associated with heredity factors, lifestyle, medications, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or another medical condition?
  • If my incontinence is related to an underlying medical condition, will treatment for this condition improve my symptoms?
  • What types of diagnostic tests will help determine the type and severity of my incontinence?
  • Should I keep a bladder and bowel diary?
  • Without treatment, would you expect my symptoms to
    • Gradually improve?
    • Remain about the same?
    • Continue to worsen?
  • What steps (eg. diet and lifestyle changes) can I take to help manage my condition?
  • How can I reduce my risk for rashes, odours, and other conditions associated with incontinence?
  • Do you recommend pelvic floor muscle exercises? If so, how do I perform these exercises correctly?
  • Why do you recommend this treatment?
  • What can I expect before, during, and after treatment?
  • If this treatment is unsuccessful, what other options are available?
  • What are the potential side effects of incontinence medications? What should I do if I experience severe side effects?
  • If my incontinence is related to menopause, might hormone replacement therapy (HRT) be helpful?
  • If I continue to experience incontinence, what other options for treatment are available?

Make an appointment today by calling 4242 5300 or by booking online here, and start the conversation today!

National Continence Helpline

Another option is to call the National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66.

You can speak to, or email your enquiry, to a qualified continence nurse adviser for confidential, expert advice. Ask them about continence products, and federal and state government subsidy schemes. They can also mail you printed information resources about incontinence. The Helpline can also provide you with information about your local continence service or clinic. It operates Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm (AEST).


Continence services and clinics

These are specialist services where you can obtain a full assessment of your bladder or bowel problems. These services usually have a continence nurse adviser or continence physiotherapist who can advise you on possible management options.

Ask the National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66 for the nearest service near you.

Bowel Cancer Awareness month – Cairns Doctors

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Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative of Bowel Cancer Australia running throughout the month of June (1-30 June), to raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer.
Bowel cancer claims the lives of over 80 Australians every week.
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month has a positive message – saving lives through early detection – as bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if found early.
From the city to the country, from the home to the workplace, individuals, families, health professionals, schools and businesses help to spread the word.  Bowel Cancer Awareness Champions donate their time, services and creativity.
Many also kindly make monetary donations to help Bowel Cancer Australia with our work.
Without the support of all the wonderful individuals and organisations raising funds and awareness, Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and the work of Bowel Cancer Australia would not be possible.
So, to everyone who has in any way got involved with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month over the past years, please know that your support means a lot to us at Bowel Cancer Australia.
We’re a relatively small team, so the more people joining the bowel movement with us, the better!
Like to support Bowel Cancer Awareness Month?  Register your interest and we will be in touch closer to the date.
Register your interest now using our Bowel Cancer Awareness Month Online Enquiry form below.
Click here to order Bowel Cancer Awareness Month resources.
For more information or to download resources, please visit Bowel Cancer Australia’s Bowel Cancer Awareness Month website. 
If you or your family have any concerns with your bowel health, please call on (07) 4242 5300 or book online here to see one of our caring clinicians.  Thank you

Join our team today – Cairns Doctors

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Cairns Doctors needs you to join us today!

Current positions vacant:

Practice Nurse – RN (as advertised on Seek here)

About the business

Cairns Doctors has been open since 2013, recently moving into brand new rooms located within Barr St Markets.  We are growing, requiring an RN to join our team to meet current and future Nursing workloads

About the role

The Practice Nurse provides clinical support to our Practitioners, helping the doctor manage their workload safely and effectively.  You will be responsible for the management of the patients needs as directed by practitioners.  This can include:

  • Immunisations
  • Wound dressings
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Medical Assessments
  • Assisting during procedures
  • and a host of other services

Benefits and perks

At present the role is Monday to Friday with a roster to be set to cover current operational hours of 08:00 to 17:00.  No weekends or after hours.

Generous Remuneration on offer based on skills and experience.

Skills and experience

AHPRA registration as an RN mandatory.  Role could suit a newly graduating RN with some experience or placements in a GP setting, but experience as a GP Nurse desirable.  PAP and Immunisation Endorsements also of benefit.  This role would suit an experienced Industrial/Occupational Medicine nurse looking to expand their clinical scope into General Practice.


Medical Administration

We are currently looking for an experienced Medical Receptionist/Administrator to join our team.

The role is to cover a mixture of set shifts per week as well as covering Sick Leave and Annual Leave vacancies.

The roster covers from 07:30 – 18:00 Monday to Friday, and Saturday’s from 07:30 – 16:30.

Hours will expand in line with Practice opening hours, but for the moment we are closed Sunday’s and Public Holidays.


Medical Practitioners

We are seeking to work with Medical Practitioners across a number of disciplines to help as to keep up with growing demand and to support a healthy community.

Cairns Doctors needs General Practitioners to cover Monday to Friday, Saturday’s along with potential for Sunday’s, late afternoon/early evening shifts, and Public Holidays in the near future (Perfect for 19ab/DWS Doctors).

Specialist Clinics:

Cairns Doctors was designed and built with Specialists in mind.  A second floor is currently under design, which will augment the existing 15 consult, and three procedure rooms downstairs, allowing for the most diverse and multi-disciplinary health centre outside of a Hospital.

In particular, Cairns Doctors would like to work with:

  • Dermatologists
  • Industrial and Environmental Physicians
  • Sexual Health Physician
  • Sports Medicine Specialist
  • and many more

If you are interested, send through your CV to our Business Manager, Mr Adam Maher here


World Immunisation week – Cairns Doctors

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It’s World Immunisation Week 24-30 April!

Apt timing for Cairns Doctors, and for you, since we’re expecting this year’s funded supply of the 2018 Flu Vaccinations to be delivered any day.

Once they have arrived, we will be letting you know!

If you you are aged 18 – 65 and want to get your flu shot now, you still can as we have the private 2018 Quadrivalent Flu Immunisation for only $11!

Bulk Billed Flu Clinic appointment, otherwise normal practice fee applies.

It is important to check that you and your family are all up to date with your vaccinations.  If you are unsure, book an appointment today!

For more information on the benefits of ‘On-Time’ vaccinations, check this page out here.