Healthcare Matters

How to catch the cancer diagnosis early

Safety netting is often viewed as a consultation technique (to ensure timely review of a patient's condition), but it is particularly important for conditions such as suspected cancer where patients may present infrequently and symptoms can be common and non-specific, such as pain or fatigue.

Read More

06 Feb 2017

Tinnitus and the GP

The British Tinnitus Association is trying to raise awareness of tinnitus this week, in Tinnitus Awareness Week. In a recent interview with their Chief Executive, David Stockdale, he made it clear that no matter how hard we as GPs work to help our patients with severe tinnitus, their perception is that they aren't getting the support they need.

06 Feb 2017

The question of too much medicine

Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses. A study last year found that 82% of doctors said they had prescribed or carried out a treatment which they knew to be unnecessary.

03 Nov 2016

Antibiotic Armageddon

Antibiotics have been one of the major advances in medicine over the last century and have (with vaccination) led to the near eradication of diseases such as tuberculosis in the developed world. Unfortunately, their effectiveness and easy access has led to overuse, especially in livestock raising, prompting bacteria to develop resistance.

08 Jun 2016

Caring for the carers

When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer it can be a terrible shock. But it's important to remember that the immediate carers and family need support as well as the patient, says Beating Bowel Cancer 's colorectal nurse specialist Paula Madden.

14 Apr 2016

Lou Gehrig and motor neurone disease (MND)

In 1939 the American baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) - most commonly, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML) - usually referred to as 'Lou Gehrig's disease' in North America. This forced him to retire at age 36 and was the cause of his death two years later.

03 Mar 2016

World Cancer Day - February 4th

It's always with us - the fear. The fear of having it and dying. The fear of losing someone we love because of it. The fear of missing it (as a diagnosis). One of my safety-netting thoughts has changed little over my 20 years as a GP; could this be cancer?

04 Feb 2016