Breast cancer: does medical research really bring us the truth or just a part of it?

By Julie Snelgrove, Nursery Nurse, Somerset, UK

 

A little while ago on my facebook newsfeed there was an article titled:

“Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer, finds studyThe Guardian. 22 July, 20161

There is now enough credible evidence to say conclusively that drinking is a direct cause of the disease…”

One of the cancers mentioned was Breast Cancer. I was interested in what was being said as a few years ago I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), which is a pre-breast cancer condition that is treated in the same way as breast cancer. The question that came to mind was “Ok it’s good these links are being made as we need to know this, but isn’t the next and real question: ‘Why do we choose to drink alcohol in the first place’?” Are we not short changing ourselves when we simply read and take on only what these studies say, rather than coming back to what our bodies have been telling us for a long time?

So ok, I can be responsible, and listen to what the research tells us and choose to not drink alcohol, but does this mean I change any other behaviours in my life?

Do I look at my stress levels?

My emotional state?

The quality of my relationships?

Does it mean I will then deeply care for myself?

It might be we then actually eat more to numb ourselves, drink other stimulating drinks or eat more sugar. I know when I stopped alcohol I found other ways to bring stimulation and numbness to my body just as alcohol used to. There was no self-responsibility present in my life to look any deeper.

Continue reading “Breast cancer: does medical research really bring us the truth or just a part of it?”

Lifestyle choices and responsibility for our healthcare – whose hands is it in?

by Jane Keep, Phd, Mphil, MSc, FCIPD, MIC, CMgr, FCMI, London

A while ago, a healthcare organisation in the UK made a decision that it would no longer treat patients who are obese or who smoke – unless they have been/are on a programme to do something about it. This caused quite a disturbance at the time, in that many felt this was unfair and discriminatory. This tactic has been tried before, and each time it causes a bristle of comments, discussion and reactions.

The NHS in England has always been ‘free to patients at the point of delivery’ so whilst there is no charge for treatment, there has always been struggles to resource the NHS to be able to treat all the patients that need treating. In recent years the numbers of those needing care have escalated, and the NHS is now bursting at the seams and in financial deficit.

If we look at this further – ‘according to the Hippocratic tradition, the guiding principle for physicians is “first do no harm,” or non-maleficence, which is closely followed by the obligation to “do good,” or beneficence’.(1) It has been stated that ‘irrespective of the “rightness” of smoking behavior, physicians have a duty to offer all patients appropriate care and supportive care and to help their patients become tobacco free.’(1) This means that ‘physicians are discouraged from refusing treatment simply because they disagree with their patients’ decisions or lifestyles’.(1)

Continue reading “Lifestyle choices and responsibility for our healthcare – whose hands is it in?”