Flushes, Antigens and Platelets

Every so often I feel like I am breaking out in a hot sweat even though there is no actual sweat or perspiration. I notice it mainly on my face and I don’t think anyone else notices it is happening unless I start fanning myself or open the doors and windows.  It can happen several times a day and usually lasts just a few minutes. Continue reading “Flushes, Antigens and Platelets”

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Big data and little data – elections and platelets

A friend drew my attention to an article ‘The Data That Turned the World Upside Down’  which talked about the impact of “big data” on the recent US Presidential election and the UK’s EU referendum. (It is quite a long article!). Big data seems to be an aggregation of vast volumes of little bits of data such as posts on Facebook or shopping on Amazon or searches on Google. Continue reading “Big data and little data – elections and platelets”

Platelet mysteries

We are midway between oncology appointments so there is nothing to report on that front other than to mention a Radio 4 programme – Inside Out – that a fellow pc-blogger drew to my attention. It discussed the grey areas in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer – it may be over-diagnosed and over-treated or the opposite (and in particular not identified early enough). It’s a bit like spending money on marketing – you know that half the money is wasted but the trouble is that you don’t know which half. The programme also argued for MRI scans before prostate biopsies so that they could be targeted better.  Interestingly it mentioned prostatectomies and radiotherapy as treatments but nothing about chemotherapy.

However I can report progress on a different front – I saw a Haematology consultant on Monday. Continue reading “Platelet mysteries”

Animal health and blood numbers

It is often (incorrectly) claimed that a healthy dog has a wet nose (or vice versa). If that were true and I was a dog I would be regarded as being healthy! Since March I have had a slightly damp nose. Not sure why – it’s not listed among the many side effects of Docetaxel or of Triptorelin, so it’s a bit of a mystery. Continue reading “Animal health and blood numbers”

Getting blood out of a stone?

I have been asked whether I monitor my blood glucose regularly, by the haematologists and my answer is that I have recently had a couple of HbA1c tests which  each show the average over the previous three months but nothing more than that. The same question was asked at my last oncology appointment and so I have been encouraged to get a blood glucose monitoring test kit so as to track my blood glucose levels better – not necessarily every day but perhaps weekly. I raised this with my GP and she agreed that I should do this although it would normally only be done for patients at risk of hypoglycaemia – which I am not. Continue reading “Getting blood out of a stone?”

Testosterone fast and feast is bats

Last week I had an e-mail which started “Dear Sir and Madam” – gosh, I thought, the writer must have known about me being on hormone therapy. The idea of hormone therapy is that it reduces the testosterone that feeds the cancer. It may have a few side effects such as hot flushes and sweating – when I mentioned that I seemed to be getting these­­ to my consultant I just got a wry “Welcome to our world” look from the women in the room. The good news was that my PSA and platelet levels are roughly the same as the last time, one up slightly, one down slightly but not statistically significant. Continue reading “Testosterone fast and feast is bats”