One of the possible side-effects of intravenous and tablet based chemotherapy or targeted therapies is diarrhoea. We encourage patients to use Loperamide tablets (Gastro-Stop) to treat and prevent diarrhoea. It works most times, but not always.
Diarrhoea is a adverse effect, which is not managed as well as we should. We have taken huge strides in the areas of vomiting and to some extent nausea, but diarrhoea has still not been tackled well enough.
Some of my patients, who are on chemotherapy, and struggle with diarrhoea (not just the loose bowel motions, but the urgency and uncertainty of the bowel motions) - are scared to go out to public places. Like some of the them tell me - "when you go to go, you got to go now".
I hunted for possible solutions and came across a free App called Flush - Flush app
This has a database of toilet across the city and country towns. I am really not sure how they manage the database and if there is a way to update it in real time, but it surely has helped give some confidence to several of my patients.
Seems like a silly problem?! Ask the person who is struggling with the issue.
Poignant article from the ABC on this serious, yet not discussed about topic.
This is something which affects several people, yet not much information is available about this. Most people will not talk about it, as it is not the main issue. The problem is that this adds up to the rest of the stressors of life. Several relationships break down due to problems during or after cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Worth discussing this in more detail with your cancer specialists.
Cancer, Sex and Intimacy
Several doctors write very poorly with regard to their handwriting. Some doctors who have a good handwriting seem to have missed their illegible handwriting course!!
I received this picture from a friend and am not sure about the origin of the picture (thus cannot acknowledge the author). Says it all.
ps: I create a bit of a stir in clinic with patients and their families, as they watch me write quite legibly with a real fountain ink pen!
A great indepth article in the BBC about Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who was smashed with work load, responsibility, lack of support and then hung to dry. It worries many of us working in hospitals, because this could happen to any of us. Any time. The result could be the same.
The trainee doctor who took all the blame!!
Learn to protect yourself. Learn to protect your colleagues and friends.
Each week in clinic, patients and their family members will bring me cut-outs from newspapers or magazines or video recorded clips from a TV article – mentioning about the latest and greatest cure for cancer. They bring the article will such hope and expectation. Rightly so.
The problem is that 90% of the times, I have to break their hopes by telling them that most of these reports are experiments are done in a laboratory test-tube or an early phase clinical trial. The chances of most of these drugs reaching a clinic is low or even if they do arrive, it would be at least 4 – 5 years. Most of the patients who need that medication now, will never get to use it.
I understand that journalists have to publish interesting articles, but I really do hope that they would clearly state that this is experimental medication and might take several years to get to the clinic or something like that. Seems like a trivial issue, but it is a pretty big deal for patients and their family members who are struggling for anything new.
The hope lives on.
Cancer, Medicine and Life: A cancer and medicine blog to help on the journey of life. Medicine and Medical Oncology are rapidly changing fields and is hard for most people to keep up. A diagnosis of any illness, in particular cancer is devastating news for anyone, and the hope is that we can share knowledge and support each other.