BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7087.1138 (Published 12 April 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1138

The immune conditioning needed to prepare patients for bone marrow transplantation increases their risk of developing solid cancers (New England Journal of Medicine 1997;336:897-904). Follow up of nearly 20 000 patients who received marrow transplants between 1964 and 1992 found that in those who survived 10 years the risk of a solid cancer was eight times that expected. The risk was especially high for some types of tumours, including malignant melanomas and cancers of the mouth.

Many people still believe that the moon and other heavenly bodies influence mental health–hence the term lunatics–but little research has been done. A study in Beckenham, south of London, followed up 782 patients in a general practice for 17 years, looking for any connection between the phases of the moon and consultations for anxiety and depression (International Journal of Social Psychiatry 1997;43:29-34). No association was found with the full moon, but the authors acknowledge that there may be a small subgroup of people who have swings in mood on certain days of the lunar cycle.

Five million people in the United States use cocaine once a month or more often, and each year over 60 000 of them are examined in emergency departments for “cocaine associated chest pain” (American Journal …

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