May 30th 2008, 15:29
One fundamental difference between alternative and conventional medicine is the way each treats the patient. To the alternative practitioner, every patient is different, and presents a unique array of symptoms; to the conventional doctor, the patient's case is one of many other similar ones.
To an extent, conventional medicine defines disease by its similarities, and so seeks to treat these, while alternative medicine looks more for the unique features of an illness, as this may provide the key to the problem.
May 23rd 2008, 13:05
How much do industry groups and their hired 'experts' hide from us the carcinogenic effects of their products and services?
We know the way the tobacco industry twisted and turned for years before finally having to admit that cigarettes cause cancer. But there are plenty of other industries, too, that seem to be playing fast and loose with the truth - even though it means that many thousands of us die every year from a cancer caused by our environment or from industrial or electro-pollution.
May 9th 2008, 10:25
Those who cling to the belief that medicine is more a science than a commercial enterprise might consider the story of a group of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and their approval process.
ESAs are routinely given to cancer patients with anaemia. As they are genetically-engineered forms of erythropoietin (EPO), a protein that stimulates production of blood cells, they are the only alternative therapy to blood transfusion.
May 2nd 2008, 13:24
Somebody dies suddenly from a heart attack. "Ah, well," says a close friend, "I'm not surprised, really. He was always stressed." Stress, it seems, is the great killer of our times, and medical researchers are confirming our worst fears with studies that establish a link between stress and heart disease, hypothyroidism, breast and prostate cancers, and others besides.
And when we think about stress, we conjure up images from our day of rushing for the train, getting shouted at by the boss, missing the train home, eating a fast-food meal on our laps, and collapsing into bed for a restless sleep.