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In the absence of a state coordinator, APF Directors, Eric & Sue traveled across to beautiful WA to host the “Pituitary Conditions & Treatments” seminar at Fremantle Hospital. We must thank Elizabeth Howell and Lana Kelly who helped us out tremendously. Elizabeth did her annual appearance on Curtain radio prior to the seminar.
It was a pleasure to meet the doctors and I would like to thank them for their warmness. In particular thanks must go to Prof. Gunesh Rajan who approached us last year to do a session there at Fremantle and Prof. Bu Yeap who has now done two consecutive seminars with us!
Dr.Brett Sillars gave an overview of hormone replacements and medical treatments for over production of hormones. Mention was also made of two treatments not readily available in Australia presently. Pegvisomant, used to treat Acromegaly,is not approved for use in Australia but is being used in clinical trials and Growth Hormone for adults which presently is not listed for subsidy on the PBS (BUT lets hope we change that!). Member Gary Hall later spoke of his incidental finding of a large macroadenoma, subsequent urgent surgical treatment and the way he feels today thanks to hormone replacement.
Prof. Yeap spoke on two subjects – the usual introduction to pituitary function and disease which is most important for newcomers, and head injuries as a cause of hypopituitarism, which is the first time to my knowledge that the Foundation has received this topic. It was most appropriate to have it in WA, as past WA volunteer Lana lost her pituitary function due a closed head injury in a car accident. Lana gave a very detailed report on her trauma and subsequent recovery. This topic also raised interest with Headwest which is the brain injury association in WA and we were pleased to invite Robyn Fitzgerald, Disability First Stop Advocate at Headwest, to give a quick rundown about the services they provide. Ph: 0893306370 or 1800 626 370.
Prof.Gunesh Rajan and Mr. Gabriel Lee spoke of the history of neurosurgery and some of the different techniques. They then spoke of modern day surgery and in particular Endoscopic Surgery - its minimally invasive technique, and interdisciplinary team approach. A short video of the surgery was viewed which was of great interest. Alwyne Parker later spoke of her surgery (which was an older approach through the forehead and top of the skull) for Acromegaly and her positive outcome.