Volume 7 Issue 2 - 2013 (7)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:11

A GP’s guide to vulval disorders

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Vulval disorders are common complaints that many women will experience at least once in their lifetime. Patients will usually attend their general practitioner. An accurate diagnosis relies on a thorough history and examination. A vulval biopsy may be useful where there is any diagnostic uncertainty. Whilst most cases are straightforward many patients resistant to basic treatment require referral to a vulval service in secondary level care.

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Substance misuse is commonplace in general practice patients. Many GPs already see patients with alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine problems. However, the world of drugs is changing due to availability of designer drugs and drugs over the Internet. General Practitioners need to be aware of the importance of drugs and alcohol in producing and exacerbating physical and psychiatric medical symptoms.

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Osteoporosis is an increasingly common condition, with decreased bone strength leading to increased risk of fracture. Fragility fractures lead to increased morbidity and mortality, and considerable socioeconomic costs. Identification of patients with osteoporosis can be improved with new fracture risk assessment tools, so that the effective treatments now available can be targeted at those likely to benefit.

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