Another visit to A&E

If you confuse your TWOC and your TURP are you a twurp? When I wrote about my first ever stay in hospital (for a TURP) I was expecting to return a couple of weeks later for another TWOC. Things didn’t quite work out like that. It has become time to introduce you to some new words – acute pyelonephritis, hydroureter, hydronephrosis and pseudomonas – and I might even tell you what they mean. Continue reading “Another visit to A&E”

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Misunderstandings

Misunderstandings

Some people just don’t understand. If you have a dog on a long  lead it can be ten foot in front of you or ten foot behind you or even ten foot to the side of you. Its limit is a circle with you at the centre.

I was out with our dog and a woman was walking along the road on the other side with a dog on an extendable lead. Now if you have any sense you lock it in its shortest position when you are walking along the road but I could see that the dog was some way in front of her and able to go to the full length of the lead. When it saw us it immediately ran across the road towards us. Fortunately there were no cars around otherwise it would have been a splatted dog (and probably a rather upset car driver)! The comment from the dog owner was “That is the trouble with these things” as if she had no ability to keep her dog on a short lead when on a road and had forgotten that she was responsible for her dog’s safety. My reaction was “Stupid person” (well actually “Stupid woman” but that is a phrase than can get you into trouble). Continue reading “Misunderstandings”

Is there a trend?

Blood Tests This month I had oncology and haematology appointments only a week apart so I thought it silly to go for two separate blood tests.  Off I went to the surgery with two blood test forms and found that the phlebotomist also had one form (from my GP) so she had the challenge of seeing how they differed and whether she could combine them and avoid taking too many gallons of my red stuff. After all, they all wanted a FBC, LFT and U&E (that’s a Full Blood Count, Liver Function Test and Urea and Electrolytes). In  addition Oncology, not surprisingly, wanted a PSA figure (I would be worried if they hadn’t asked for that)  and my GP wanted a couple of other things. Continue reading “Is there a trend?”

Better diagnosis?

In Faster diagnosis? I mentioned developments in MRI technology (which could also lead to better diagnosis). Scientists at Dundee University have been working on developments in ultrasound – a technique called shear wave elastography. This relies on the fact that cancerous tissue is stiffer than non-cancerous tissue. This can be detected on an ultrasound scan and so cancerous tissue can be pinpointed more accurately. The information obtained allows a better diagnosis which in turn leads to better treatment. In addition it should be cheaper than an MRI scan and so be more widely available. Continue reading “Better diagnosis?”

Faster diagnosis?

Ten years ago I was invited to give a talk at one of the monthly socials run by the Amersham & Chesham branch of the MS Society. Since then I have been asked back half a dozen times and fortunately I have found half a dozen other topics to talk about. Therefore when I spotted an Article by BBC reporter Caroline Wyatt titled How I’m feeling after my MS ‘body reboot’ I thought I would read it.

It is a well written (as you would expect) and thought provoking piece. Continue reading “Faster diagnosis?”

Fine tuning the PSA sledgehammer

San Diego Dan has posted a link to an interesting article on various approaches to refining the PSA test. As I said a while ago a raised PSA really only shouts “Have more tests” since it is possible to have prostate cancer with a PSA of zero and to not have it with a PSA of 4,000. Factors such as how much time you spend on the saddle of a bicycle will have an impact on your PSA level. Then there is the question of whether the cancer is aggressive or not. If you can tell this then a lot of unnecessary treatment can be avoided. While I wouldn’t say avoid hospitals and treatment at all costs (and in the US personal costs can be significant) certainly if unnecessary treatments can be avoided not only does it save money it also avoids all the various side effects and risks associated with any medical intervention. The article explains that researchers are developing genetic tests, imaging tests, and algorithms in an effort to reduce the more than a million men a year who have prostate biopsies and, even more important, reduce the thousands who get treatment they don’t need.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/04/prostate-cancer-research-psa/