Breast cancer surgery – is more necessarily better?

13th May 2021, Dr Chee L Khoo

The radical mastectomy introduced by Halsted was the treatment of choice for breast cancer of any size or type, regardless of the patient’s age, for 80 years. Any attempt in surgery less than a radical mastectomy was not widely considered during those years. Subsequent randomised controlled trials designed in 1969 and published in 1973 (1) and 1981 (2) showed that survival rates were equal after radical or breast-conserving surgery (BCS).…

Knee MRI – how reliable is it?

27th April, Spectrum Medical Imaging

Acute knee pain is a pretty common presentation in general practice. In experienced hands, a thorough physical examination can narrow the differential diagnosis to a few common injuries. Often we have to resort to an MRI to confirm our suspicion. How reliable is the MRI diagnosis?

In a novel study to evaluate the reproducibility, repeatability, and agreement of MRI evaluation with the gross pathology examination at operation, in 23 patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty, MRIs were performed just before the surgery (1).…

Monoclonal Ab for rhinosinusitis? – what will they think of next

25th April 2021, Dr Chee L Khoo

chronic rhinosinusitis

Chronic rhinosinusitis is a very common problem in general practice. Despite the “-itis”, infection is not actually the core problem. That is why antibiotic scripts after antibiotics script isn’t always the solution. There is often a significant inflammatory/allergic component in the pathogenesis. Current standard of care consists of intranasal steroids, nasal saline irrigation and short courses of systemic corticosteroids.…

Aspirin for colorectal cancer prevention – who will benefit?

13th February 2021, Dr Chee L Khoo

colorectal cancer

Aspirin as a chemoprotective agent against colorectal cancer (CRC) has gone through quite exhaustive reviews over the last 20 years. After initially recommended against using aspirin for CRC prevention in 2007, the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2015 recommended initiating low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD and CRC in “adults aged 50 to 59 years who have a >10% 10-year CVD risk, are not at increased risk for bleeding, have a life expectancy of at least 10 years and are willing to take low-dose aspirin daily for at least 10 years” (1).…

Sex hormones and eye abnormalities – how are they related?

11th January 2021, Dr Chee L Khoo

Sex hormones are not just responsible for the function of the reproductive system. They are also responsible for bone and cardiovascular health. Interestingly, they are produced, not only by the gonads, but also by other organs (1,2) including the central nervous system (CNS). Well, the eye is a neural structure and there is increasing evidence that oestrogens exert a neuro-protective role (3,4).…

Does wearing a facemask cause hypoxia?

14th November 2020, Dr Chee L Khoo

facemasks

It’s been at least 12 weeks since we started to wear facemasks at the practice full time with all face to face consultations. I must admit that during the first week, I did feel a bit suffocating with the mask on. I remember having to stop mid-sentence to catch my breath. I could sympathise with many patients, particularly patients who has COPD, asthma or heart failure.…

Aortic aneurysm and fluoroquinolones don’t mix well – do they?

13th October 2020, Dr Chee L Khoo

Aortic aneurysm (AA) and aortic dissection (AD) are potentially fatal conditions. Without treatment, ruptured AA/AD carries a mortality rate of up to 90%. Population-based studies estimated the annual incidence to be 2.4 to 14.8 per 100 000 persons for AA (1-4) and 3.8 to 8.8 per 100 000 persons for AD (3,5-7). Although the incidence varied across countries, the number has universally increased over time (1-5,7).…

Knee Osteoarthritis – is jogging good or bad?

24th May 2020, Dr Chee L Khoo

In primary care, we are frequently preventing disease or at least we try to. Apart from lifestyle measures, we prescribe statins, anti-hypertensive, aspirin and beta-blockers to reduce cardiovascular events. What about arthritis? In patients who do not have arthritis (yet) but are at high risk of degenerative osteoarthritis, is there something we can do to reduce the patients’ risk of progressing to full blown arthritis?…

Aspirin – which cancers will it benefit?

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends low-dose aspirin use for the prevention of cardiovascular disease among average-risk individuals aged 50 to 59 years with a 10% or greater 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease (1). Long-term regular aspirin use is also associated with reduced risk of obesity- and inflammation-associated cancers, particularly colorectal cancer (CRC) (2,3). Numerous follow up trials have consistently demonstrated significant reductions in risk in GI cancers – the NIH-AARP (4), the Nurses Health Study (5) and the Health Professionals Follow-up study (6,7).…

Osteomyelitis – diagnosis is not always straight forward

26th November 2019

The symptoms of acute osteomyelitis include pain, swelling, warmth and redness over the affected part. Sometimes, there are systemic signs of fever and fatigue. Plain xrays may review osteolytic lesions, periosteal reaction or may be totally normal. Sometimes, we may need to resort to MRI to clinch the diagnosis. This month’s case illustrate the difficulty with diagnosis when the symptoms and signs are not straight forward.…

Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer – is there a point of no return?

23rd November 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Treatment of helicobacter pylori infection (HPi) has been shown to reduce the incidence of gastric cancer (GC) worldwide (1,2). HPi may cause chronic inflammation which can lead to precancerous conditions. Since HPi is not always symptomatic and many patients may have untreated HPi for decades. Surely, if you have untreated HPi for decades, you might still be at risk of GC years down the track despite eradication of the infection.…