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Medical Nemesis

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:33 pm
by drew43
Ivan Illych published Medical Nemesis in 1974 but it is still worth a read today.
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His theme was that the medical profession has denatured us and separated us from the ability to look after our own health and also to face up to Illness and death. This came back to me when I read the following:

In 2011, the Lancet Oncology Commission produced a lengthy report called Delivering Affordable Cancer Care in High-Income Countries. 16 The authors, a gathering of the great and the good of modern oncology, concluded that cancer care is in crisis, driven by overuse and futility: In developed countries, cancer treatment is becoming a culture of excess. We over-diagnose, overtreat and overpromise. This extends from use of complex technology, surgery and drugs to events related to the acceptance of treatment side-effects. Second, we are a society that focuses almost exclusively on benefit, and such benefit is often small. For example, a 20% improvement in survival for a patient with a non-resectable metastatic solid tumour translates. into a benefit of 4-6 weeks at best. Perspective is almost exclusively absent as we focus solely on what is perceived as benefit.

And that was 17 years ago.

The War on Cancer started by Nixon is still
bogged down in the trenches.jpg
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much like the progress of the Great War which we have just remembered again without apparently having learned any lessons