Intended for healthcare professionals

Bmj Usa


BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 11 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:E339

The metaphors used for cancer are often military terms such as war on cancer, killer cells, magic bullets, and the need for patients to adopt a fighting spirit. A review in Oncology (2004;9: 708-16) discusses striking a balance between this instinct to fight and expressions of healing and acceptance. This is particularly important where the gung-ho attitude of the medical profession may be at complete odds with where the patient and the family are in their journey. Such a mismatch can be harmful all round, falling all too short of a meaningful “victory.”

We're in the merry months of seasonal affective disorder, which is commonly followed by mild hypomania in the spring and summer. One hypothesis is that this pattern of hibernation is an adaptive evolutionary mechanism, which enhanced the likelihood of reproductive success for females living at temperate latitudes. Hypomania increases the likelihood of procreation, and becoming pregnant in the summer means giving birth in the spring, when babies would have a higher chance of survival (Medical Hypotheses 2004;63: 767-72).

The cost of a total hip replacement in US hospitals is greater than in Canadian …

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