Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is currently the 10th commonest cause of death in Singapore, with a disease burden of 5.9 percent according to a 2015 population-based survey (EPIC-Asia survey) in Singapore. Pearl Toh spoke with Dr Augustine Tee, chief and senior consultant of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at Changi General Hospital (CGH) in Singapore, on how COPD is often underdetected in the primary care population as symptoms are not specific and diagnosis requires a combination of clinical risk factors, symptoms and spirometry testing.
There are various ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions which present to the GP’s clinic. Dr Jason Hwang, an ENT Consultant from the Department of Otolaryngology at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, speaks on how the majority of the conditions can be effectively managed at the primary care level seeing that these can be treated medically without the need for surgical intervention.
Lung cancer still poses a challenge in terms of diagnosis and treatment. In many countries in Asia, the condition remains a significant cause of mortality. The prevalence of tuberculosis in the region also confounds this problem, which necessitates a highly efficient means to differentiate these two entities. Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy (ENB), a state-of-the-art lung biopsy technique, was recently introduced in Hong Kong, placing the city as a pioneer in its utilization in the region. Dr Chung-Ming Chu, Specialist in Respiratory Medicine in Hong Kong, discusses the role of ENB in diagnosing pulmonary lesions and shares his experience on its use.
This is the case of a 77-year-old man with a history of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). In September 2015, he was admitted to a regional hospital in Hong Kong due to fever and shortness of breath, and was diagnosed with pneumonia, the fourth episode in his life.
Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus and borne by the Aedes mosquito. The virus causes flu-like symptoms that generally resolve on their own with supportive care but severe cases require further management and possibly hospitalization. Primary care doctors are frequently the first point of contact for people with dengue fever. Radha Chitale spoke with Dr. Jenny Low, a senior consultant in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Singapore General Hospital, about what they can do for affected patients.
Electronic cigarettes could be one of the biggest public health opportunities of our time, but that depends on who you talk to. They have been shown to be effective in helping smokers quit and many believe them to be much safer than cigarettes. But the debate rages on.
The BRAF inhibitors vemurafenib and dabrafenib, currently approved for use in advanced melanoma, are also effective in a subset of lung adenocarcinoma patients with BRAF mutations, according to a retrospective European trial presented at the European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) held in Geneva, Switzerland.
An extrafine fixed triple therapy, comprising the long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) glycopyrronium bromide (GB), the long-acting β₂-agonist (LABA) formoterol fumarate (FF), and the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) beclometasone dipropionate (BDP), is superior to the LAMA tiotropium alone in reducing exacerbations and improving lung function in patients with symptomatic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the TRINITY* trial.