BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7517.644 (Published 15 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:644

What influences a woman's decision to delay seeking help for advanced breast cancer? In a qualitative study involving 11 women and some of their spouses, and controls, the spouses reported that they were more likely to actively surrender stressful things to God and to suffer from depression. The patients were likely to rely on alternative therapies and, along with their spouses, to remain in a state of denial and have rather fatalistic attitudes to life (Preventive Medicine 2005;41: 399-405).

With her moon in Mercury, some may believe that Minerva is under all kinds of lunar influences. Not so the birth rate in Arizona (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005;192: 2002-8). A study was specifically designed to dispel or lend significance to beliefs among hospital staff that the phase of the moon or meteorological conditions—or both—are related to birth rate, and it reports absolutely no significant correlates. The outcome in question was spontaneous labour, so the authors emphasise that they cannot rule out such influences on induction of labour. But for now, staffing levels should not be changed in accordance with the weather or lunar cycle.

A rather worrying effect of hormonal treatment in …

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