Monthly Archives: July 2011

Good news on Tamoxifen

Five Years!!!

Image by ellenmac11 via Flickr

Studies show it produces reduction in breast cancer recurrence and mortality

according to story in The Lancet.

At last, all those horrendous side effects and indifference we have to put up with from medics, could be worth it for what  researchers have found in a long-term analysis.

The story said “treatment for about five years cut annual breast-cancer mortality by 30% throughout the first 15 years after the start of treatment (P<0.00001) across the 20 randomized trials pooled by the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group”.  In other words, very good news.

Earlier benefits in terms of relapse appeared maintained beyond year 10, the group reported online in The Lancet.

For those who understand medic-speak,

  • This study reports updated meta-analyses of the trials of five years of adjuvant tamoxifen.
  • Points out that patients with estrogen receptor positive disease experienced significant sustained improvements in recurrence rates and survival with the use of tamoxifen.
  • That the curves didn’t converge suggested true prevention that “potentially cures many patients,” Stephen K. Chia, MD, of the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, and Antonio C. Wolff, MD, of Johns Hopkins, commented in an accompanying editorial.

“These mature and definitive results allow clinicians to inform women confidently about the effect of tamoxifen on breast-cancer events and overall survival to a time point that approaches the remaining life expectancy of many individuals,” they wrote.

Aromatase inhibitors are recommended for use by postmenopausal women at some point during adjuvant treatment of hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, although without the same kind of long-term evidence available for tamoxifen, researcchers Chia and Wolff noted.

The older drug remains a good option for women whose ovaries still function, though, they pointed out.

The meta-analysis showed no significant excess in uterine cancer or fatal pulmonary embolism risk with tamoxifen in women under age 55.

The Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group is funded from CRUK, BHF, and MRC core support of CTSU, which also performs trials funded by industry grants to the University of Oxford.


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Watch out for fireworks around NHS Health Bill

Andrew Lansley, British politician and Shadow ...

This is what Lansley looks like - the one in front - not the pretty girl Wikipedia

Where is La La Lansley?


OK – so the Government is taking a well-earned rest after its gruelling couple of months back at the coal-face since its last break.

But has anyone noticed (or cared) that La La seems to be very quiet?

With his Health Bill due to burst forth in all its so-called ‘glory’ (at least according to all the yes-men that earn their pennies along Whitehall), one would have thought he would be drumming up support for his Health Bill (one of the most unpopular bills ever tabled).

He’d better get his act together, because if the campaigning organisation, 38 Degrees have anything to say in the matter – they have announced they have enough  money in their legal kitty to challenge the Bill.  They asked for £10,000 to mount a challenge the bill;  so far they have raised £53,000 – and it’s climbing.

38 Degrees are going through the Bill with a fine tooth comb

Their latest press release says:

“Great news – we’ve raised enough money to bring in lawyers to go through the government’s NHS plans with a fine toothcomb.

We needed a minimum of £10,000 to get started – so far thousands of 38 Degrees members have together donated over £52,000!

Our lawyers have already started work. A team led by senior health lawyer Stephen Cragg QC has already started looking at the future of the government’s “duty to provide” a comprehensive health system. Next week competition law specialists will start work looking at whether the plans could mean NHS privatisation.

This is an amazing example of people power in action – we have clubbed together to hire in the experts we need to help us protect our NHS.”

Average Donation

The average donation so far is £15.69.  Readers who feel strongly about La La’s disruption of NHS services so far can contribute to

And if you want to see what your money is funding, look at the outline questions Stephen Cragg QC has been asked to answer here: http://

And what do I think?

I used to run a business, and had to ensure we didn’t squander money.  Yet everytime I go inside an NHS hospital I see money being wasted left, right and centre.

Talking to ‘my’ doctors (we have become old friends – even though they have my health problems to deal with), over and over again the consultation ends with ten minutes of despair, as they tell me of the latest ‘cost cutting’ exercise, that means patients are going to suffer, and these silly efforts aren’t doing anything to improve the nation’s health.

When Cameron came in to power, it was on a tide of comment about how the Conservatives were going to upgrade our health service so it was on a par with European care.  Meanwhile Europeans get on quietly with sensible and effective co-operation between insurance companies, private providers and government health care.  But no-one in the credit-card spending corridors of Whitehall seems the slightest bit interested in hopping on Eurostar to see what the French, Germans, etc. are up to (not as glamorous as Cayman Islands or Singapore, I suppose).

Here, instead of looking across the Channel, and slowly copying initiatives that could be rolled out on a local basis to ‘try the water’, we have mega-health businesses poised to step in – with La La’s blessing – and cream off profitable healthcare.  Leaving the dross for the NHS to try and hide, as it won’t have the funds to give  a proper service.

I am NOT against sensible private healthcare – e.g. why not run Imaging and Radiotherapy machines 12 hours a day at least, as they do in private hospitals?  Instead of 8 hours only?

Charing Cross are starting to roll this out in the Imaging Department, and everyone seems happy.  But then this is a tiny initiative in the large scheme of the NHS, thought up by staff at Charing Cross, and not grand enough to temp the big business companies who are getting in to bed with Whitehall.


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Cancer patients told Yoga is good for them – new exercises with wine bottle

A Sense of Humour is best medicine

A fellow patient has sent me the story of Harold, and what he gets up to with a wine bottle.

Nothing sexy – nothing dirty – just good, inebriated fun.

Well, it made me laugh, and I am tee-total.

Incidentally, thanks to Ralph Lazar who looks after Harold for letting me ‘use’ his latest adventures.

Want to see more?  And buy goodies with Harold’s Yoga posturing?  Go to

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ASCO confirms survivors suffer long after treatment

The Ward Building at the Northwestern Universi...

Northwestern University, Chicago Wikipedia

Chicago University study confirms cancer patients continue to have problems – long after treatment finishes


Amongst all the ‘stuff’ you are given at diagnosis, did any of it say that cancer was going to be a long journey, and we would need patience to handle problems?

And were you told to see XXX if you have unexplained symptoms?

No? You are not alone.

Talk to any survivor, and we generally end up saying how frustrating it is not to be told the truth.  Left floundering around, we have to sort out our own medical treatment for the unexplained conditions that come through the door to attack us when we should be able to get on with life.


Most Doctors still have no idea

During the last Macmillan Conference, a doctor asked, “why don’t cancer patients just get on with their life after treatment?”

He was very lucky not to be lynched – but survivors just took this statement as as an indication of how few doctors understand that the after-effects of the drugs they are prescribing can last years after treatment is over.  But they don’t care.  But by that time the patient is long gone out of their orbit and they never get to see what happens – often years down the line.

At last – a University highlights this problem

But, according to a new study at Northwestern University, Chicago, it would appear that many of the people who are lucky enough to get cured of cancer with existing treatments, tend to continue experiencing health problems.

The research showed that the most common issues related to chronic pain and fatigue, loss of sleep or poor sleep quality. These effects were found to span as much as 3 to 5 years after the initial cancer treatment had been concluded.

The work was carried out by experts at the Northwestern University, and was the largest, most comprehensive research carried out on this population subgroup to date.

What do cancer survivors want?

Experts determined that cancer survivors are all very eager to return to their former, vital selves after treatment concludes. However, this usually does not happen right away, much to the disappointment of patients, friends, family and doctors alike.

The intensity of the issues people face ranges from moderate to severe, and this came as a shock to the research team.

Scientists were also surprised to learn about how long the effects endured

Highlighting the fact that patients are seldom listened to!

According to Lynne Wagner,  associate professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and co-investigator of the new research effort,  “we were surprised to see how prevalent these symptoms still are. This is one of the first looks at what’s really happening for survivors in terms of symptoms and treatment among community-based treatment settings across the US”.

Lynne is also a clinical health psychologist at the Northwestern Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Details of the study were presented in June at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  This is one of the two most important cancer conferences in the world – the other probably being San Antonio Conference for Breast Cancer.

Reporting at the conference, Lynne commented “We don’t have a great system to provide care to cancer survivors. Cancer survivors are left trying to put the pieces together to find optimal care,”  she went onto say.

“They ideally need to see someone who is knowledgeable about the long-term affects of treatment,” she says. Drugs are also a problem for this group, especially when it comes to controlled substances.

“It is acceptable for someone actively going through cancer treatment to have pain medications, but when they transition to being survivors, that acceptance goes away. If they ask for pain medication again, doctors may worry that they are getting addicted,” the expert concludes.


What is worrying is that any cancer survivor could have told the researchers exactly the same as their findings.  Just proving no-one listens to patients, even in the United States.

Still, it’s now down in black and white – so at least we know we aren’t being wimps when we make a fuss!

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Cancer patients in twenties and thirties get a raw deal

Image created of Kylie Minogue during the Show...

Image via Wikipedia

The ‘Kylie’ effect seems to have worn off

And younger cancer patients can find doctors totally unsympathetic when dealing with the horrible side effects of cancer drugs on your skin.

These side effects  make teens and twenties skin care even more of a problem.  But don’t worry, a company called Elemis have come to the rescue.

No-one wishes cancer on anyone, but when Kylie Minogue was unlucky enough to develop breast cancer, inadvertently she did a lot to help other women in their twenties and thirties.

These are the women who belong to the “you’re too young” generation;  with cancer left untended, often for years, before a doctor would take them seriously.

When Kylie got cancer, she says she suspected something was wrong, but doctors said she was too young;  how wrong could they be.

Her case with its massive publicity formed a wake-up call to stick-in-the-mud medics, who go by the ‘age’ rule book.  Thanks to her and publicity surrounding her case, young women found it easier to convince doctors they knew their own bodies.

And were given access to tests far earlier than had been the case before.

Now, some doctors are showing signs of having forgotten what happened,, and being dismissive when younger patients come with fears – but if this happens to you just stamp your platform shoes and INSIST on tests.

But – however young or old you are, you still get the side effects, and one of the most distressing is horrid skin – particularly when you are young and want to party.

For anyone who is undergoing hospital treatment, for cancer or any other condition, doctors are often dismissive of your skin problems.  They will treat you for the condition, but haven’t a clue what to do when your skin looks years older – it goes grey and lifeless – and you feel everything’s against you.

Even if your health is good, you can still have problems when partying and having fun – so these tips might help.

Ultimate treat for young skin

Elemis have taken on board that young skins suffer – from cancer drugs or day-to-day living and trying to combine earning a living and partying.

They have come up with the Freshskin range:  specially made for teens and twenties (and even thirties), it has everything you need to keep your skin soft, and help zap scratchy, itchy out-of-condition dry skin.  And packaged the range up in a fun way.

Freshskin Party Princess collection of face masks and treats brings together small treats  so you can get the girls round before a night out to indulge in masks and facials;  including an exfoliating face wash and Softly Softly moisturiser for you,  the package comes out a tiny £10.

But for the ultimate pampering collection (start thinking up hint hints), look for the polka dot vanity case containing everything a girl can need, from face wash to pampering body treats – all for £99.

Elemis are a British company (hurrah!) who spend time and money on research and developing skincare that is right for today.  When they showed off Freshskin to a group of beauty writers, everyone was crowding round to try it out. 

But they are keen that we adopt sensible ‘beauty rules’, and here are some of their tips – with additions from me, who was never one to take the long way to skincare – if I could hurry things up!

Going out from the office

If you are going to have to dress in the back of a taxi (black cabs are the best for this), get down on the floor (sit on a newspaper), make sure you can’t make eye contact with the cabbie, and always take a fairly loose dress to change in to – skin tight dresses are no-no in this situation.

Try to time things so that you are in a jam when you start your strip-tease, otherwise you can be rolling around on the floor if your cabbie decides to sprint past a line of cars.

Just watch out for surrounding traffic – and remember lorry drivers and those on the top deck of double deckers can look down into the back of your cab:  I once entertained 70 people on a double-decker bus when I chose to change in a traffic jam.

Just make sure your undies can go from day to night – changing bras is not a good idea in this situation.


OK – yeah yeah – all sorts of things are bad for your skin, but we all do them, and survive.  As long as you don’t make a habit of it.

If you have a good routine of cleanse-tone-moisturise (Elemis make teen-and-twenty friendly products in their Freshskin range), it won’t hurt to – carefully – put make-up on top of your day stuff.

Although I never managed to put false eyelashes on in a taxi – I used to make a dash for the Ladies when I arrived to put finishing touches.

Leaving make-up on after a party

Don’t you dare do this more than once a week – I MEAN IT.

Face wipes are not good for your skin, but if you use the Freshskin ones they are less harsh.  Before you go out on the town, leave a pack by your bed, then when you arrive home at umph-o’clock, it’s easy to grab a wipe and give your face a quick wipe-over (saves the pillow).

Night time is when your skin has a chance to repair and regenerate and it can’t do that if your pores are blocked up by a nice mix of sweat, dirt and make-up. That said, don’t believe the urban myth that sleeping in make-up for a night will age your skin 7 days (or 7 years, in the exaggerated version).  It’s just scare-mongering. As long as you don’t make a habit of it, your skin will survive.

Doing zero exercise

If you’re not managing to squeeze in much exercise, facial massage can help you fake a just-back-from-my-run glow. Instead of just slapping on your moisturiser, give yourself a circulation-boosting facial by massaging the cream firmly into your skin, making circular movements over your cheeks and forehead, and upward strokes from your jawline. This will bring fresh oxygenated blood to your skin to give it the same healthy glow as exercise does.

Sadly it won’t get rid of a muffin top though… but an energetic stint on the dance floor is good exercise, especially if you have lots of arm movement.

Skimping on sleep

If a few too many late nights have made your eyes puffy, don’t bother with the teabags and cucumber slices. (I mean, seriously, who wants to lie around with bits of vegetable on their face?) Just keep your eye cream in the fridge and you’ll get the same de-puffing benefits, without the mess.

Another trick that lots of models use is to sleep on an extra pillow so that your head is slightly raised – it allows any swelling to drain so prevents under-eye bags.  And if you can afford it, silk pillows can avoid creases you get from ordinary pillows.

Getting stressed

Ever noticed that when you’ve got exams or a deadline, your skin goes completely haywire? Yep, you can thank stress for that spot on your forehead.

To minimise the impact of stress on your skin, set aside fifteen minutes a week to chill out with some tunes and a detoxifying face mask. It’s a double whammy – having a break for some pampering will help you unwind, and the mask will deep clean your pores to stop spots in their tracks. Even better if you can lie on the floor with your legs raised against the wall.   Sorted.

For regular life-style tips, follow Elemis Freshskin on   and Twitter @elemisfreshskin.


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Don't let the killjoys ruin Christmas

Why shouldn’t we eat, drink and be merry?




For centuries, our ancestors believed in a jolly good feast during Christmas and New Year.

In fact this went on for all of twelve days – they didn’t do anything by halves.

But, have you noticed this year the media is full of stories on how we can cut down on extra calories?  All designed to make us feel guilty as we snitch the last crunchy roast potato.  And as for having a drink ……

Well – I refuse to feel guilty.  This is said tongue-in-cheek, but when a certain Royal Granny lived to over 100 on her daily G & T (so did ours), looking around cancer centre waiting rooms I see many patients thin as rakes.  Many friends have lung cancer even if they have never smoked in their life – so surely it is time to stop blaming us and our habits when cancer strikes?

I had been considering swopping my Sunday Times for a non-Murdoch paper – but I am glad I didn’t, as recently the paper printed a wonderful letter from a Mr. Booth.  He was replying to an article in which Dominic Lawson was complaining about ‘water pushers’ :

Perhaps Dominic Lawson could lead a few other sacred cows into the abattoir.  Might I suggest a few?  The five-a-day-fruit-and-veg campaign that has been plucked out of thin air.  Or approved levels of alcohol (approved by whom?) when drinkers have the cheek to live longer than teetotallers.

It annoys me  when GPs on £100,000 – £150,000 per annum tell me that alcohol is far too cheap.  Why should I as a pensioner pay more for my monthly bottle of Scotch just because some numpty wants to go out and get drunk.  And don’t get me started on MPs and MSPs pontificating about the evils of alcohol when they have access to subsidised bars in Westminster and Holyrood.

Another one is the body mass index, on whose scale England’s rugby team is rated as  critically obese.  I’d rather you tell the chaps, not me.

David Booth                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dunfermline, Fife

Rather than make alcohol more expensive for pensioners, why not make the drunks pay for their A & E care?

So next time you wheel Grannie in for emergency care, she doesn’t have to wait whilst staff are attending to all of those who think that the NHS will provide a nice refuge whilst they sober up.  That would hit these unsocial animals where it hurts – by cutting off their supplies of readies to pay for their booze.

Tell Elf ‘n Safety to take a rest over the holiday.

Tell killjoys to leave normal people alone, and have the guts to go after the hard cases that fill up A & E with drunken behaviour and crowd out genuine emergencies

Helping with the washing-up gets us brownie points;  after all the gurus tell us housework is good exercise.

And leave us to have our fun with social drinking, that doesn’t cost the earth.




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Scientists Develop New Therapy for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Breast cancer awareness reception

Breast Cancer Awareness Reception Flickr

Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer

but can’t take Herceptin

may soon have an alternative therapy


For anyone who develops resistance to Herceptin (trastuzumab), there may soon be an alternative therapy.

According to a laboratory finding published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Jacek Capala, Ph.D., D.Sc., an investigator at the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues designed, produced and tested HER2-Affitoxin, a novel protein that combines HER2-specific affibody molecules and a modified bacterial toxin, PE38.

“Unlike the current HER2-targeted therapeutics, such as Herceptin, this protein does not interfere with the HER2 signaling pathway but, instead, uses HER2 as a target to deliver a modified form of bacterial toxin specifically to the HER2-positive cancer cells. When cells absorb the toxin, it interferes with protein production and, thereby, kills them,” said Capala.

At least, that is what happened in Capala’s laboratory. After Affitoxin was injected into tumor-bearing mice, even relatively large, aggressive tumors stopped growing and most of them disappeared. The effect was strong enough that Capala believes it warrants a clinical trial.

“Herceptin has revolutionized the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, but a significant number of tumors acquire resistance to the drug,” said Capala. “Affitoxin could offer another therapeutic option for those patients whose tumors no longer respond to Herceptin.”



NICE approves cancer skin care product

Cancer patients get Anthelios XL SPF 50+

factor suncream on prescription


NICE gets really ‘nice’ !

and has finally approved the first of the La Roche-Posay skin treatment                                                                          creams, that zap nasty painful rough skin we get as drug side effects.

Sitting on my desk is a precious tube of ANTHELIOS 50+ cream, with a high SPF and lovely ‘melt in’ texture, which means it doesn’t leave a white film on my skin.

I had to get this approved by my dermatologist, then take her note to my NHS GP, who issued the precious prescription.

The good news is that it is now on my ‘repeat prescription’ form, so I can order more.  All I need is some sun instead of eternal downpours!

Every day use

Unlike many suncreams, this absorbs easily and can be used every day, whatever the weather, as there are still harmful rays even on dull days.  Top beauty therapists’ favourite tip is to wear anti-sun cream EVERY, and one therapist told me “I even wear it on Christmas Day”.

As Anthelios is made from top ingredients, it does your skin good, rather than just barring sun’s rays from penetrating;  so it is like using a skincare cream.

Made by La Roche Posay, it was developed at the French medical spa centre for skincare.  And the lovely thing is, like French cancer patients, we can now get this on free prescription.


Legend has it that Bertrand Du Guesclin, High Constable during the reign of of the French king Charles V, discovered the La Roche-Posay springs on his way home from Spanish campaigns at the end of the 14th century.

As he stopped at La Roche-Posay’s spring to quench his thirst, his horse, which suffered from eczema, plunged into the water and came out cured!!!!

Well, that’s the legend, but the fact is that over 10,000 patients go to the medical spa here every year for help with skincare problems, including me.  When I developed bloody skin lesions all over my body, I was told that these were due “to your age”.

So I went to France, where the La Roche Posay centre worked their magic, and restored my skin.

What more?

The company makes a vast range of skincare products for everything from eczema to proriasis.  Next on the list to be NICE approved is probably Lipikar body lotion, which I have found excellent for a general body lotion, although we are supposed to use the Toleraine range.

If you have skin problems from drug side effects, get your doctor prescribing Anthelios first.  This may cause problems, as some doctors aren’t going to take happily to the notion that we need help with horrible skin: dealing with this is seen as ‘cosmetic’, and therefore not something that should concern doctors.

In France the attitude is that if dry skin is making life a misery, then you get La Roche-Posay to help you stay on the drugs, and to counteract skin lesions, etc.

Then, once your doctor is prescribing – keep on asking when Lipikar and other creams get NICE approval, so you can be first in the queue!

Eventually we might get the same treatment as the French, who incidentally live longer after cancer because their doctors help them stay on drugs by sorting out side effects.  In Britain it was just suggested I might come off drugs, and I was regarded as ‘strange’ because I said I wanted to stay on them and reap the benefits.

For the technical minded – and your Doctor:

Breakthrough Technology
New Anthelios 50 Mineral with Cell-Ox Shield™: a patent pending combination of mineral sun filter and powerful anti-oxidant complex to further protect your skin, even at the cellular level.
Recommended for  all skin types


High UVA protection & SPF 50 for outdoor use
Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
Photostable, long-lasting protection
Light, satin finish
Fragrance-free, PABA-free
Safe for Sensitive skin

Anthelios SX is the moisturizer with Mexoryl SX offering a high level of protection against UVA rays, the No. 1 cause of skin aging.
Anthelios SX is a light, non-greasy, fragrance-free formula. It is allergy-tested, PABA-free, suitable for sensitive skin and offers 24-hour hydration. Anthelios SX has complete broad spectrum protection.
Anthelios SX features Mexoryl SX, the 1st sun filter in a sunscreen approved by the FDA in 18 years

Anthelios SX has an exclusive combination of three sun filters:                                                                                  Octocrylene protects against UVB rays.
Parsol 1789 (avobenzone) protects against long UVA rays and is stabilized by Octocrylene.
Mexoryl SX, the only FDA approved sun filter 1 that fills the gap in sun protection in the US 2
1: in a sunscreen formula
2: fills the gap in the short UVA range

For maximum results, apply liberally to face, neck décolletté, hands, and other exposed areas of the body, especially the tops of your ears !

1. Wear a sunscreen that has a high level of protection against UVA rays and at least an SPF 15.
2. Use sun protection daily, even if it is cold or cloudy outside!
3. Visit your dermatologist for an annual check-up and notify him/her immediately if you notice change or discoloration in a mole, which can be an early sign of skin cancer.

1. Forget to apply sunscreen on those often forgotten areas: the hands, décolleté, neck, and ears.
2. Scrimp when applying sunscreen. Most people don’t use enough! Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.
3. Forget that SPF measures protection against UVB rays only, and not UVA rays. Look for ingredients that offer high UVA protection as well.

Visiting the Medical Spa





Good week to bury bad Health Bill news

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19:  Prime Minister Da...

Cameron and Lansley may well look worried - their Health Bill has attracted massive flak. daylife

But BMA voices concerns over Health Bill

Andrew Lansley is probably breathing a sigh of relief now that Rupert Murdoch, and his battling wife Wendi, are making headline news.

Until the hacking enquiry started, every paper had a large quota of stories on La La’s Health Bill – and they weren’t complimentary.

But come the beginning of last week, all went quiet on the NHS front, when the gnome-like features of Rupert Murdoch and his avenging wife hit the news pages (hope Lansley sent a bunch of flowers to Wendi – she has kept him off many a front page).

So what many papers would have missed is :

BMA Statement on Health and Social Care Bill

The BMA has come out against the Health and Social Care Bill, and resolved that even with the Government’s amendments it cannot support the Bill.

As part of its next steps on lobbying, the BMA will publicly campaign for the withdrawal of the Bill, and also resolved to oppose the Bill until it is satisfactorily modified.

During a BMA Council meeting, they discussed the next steps on the Health and Social Care Bill, and issued a statement “given the continuing concerns of the medical profession around some key aspects of the Bill, the BMA will continue to call for it to be withdrawn, while still critically engaging with the government to achieve necessary improvements”.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, said:  “Whilst the BMA recognises there have been some changes following the listening pause, there is widespread feeling that the proposed legislation is hopelessly complex, and it really would be better if the Bill were withdrawn.

We will continue to critically engage with Government and with the parliamentary process to try to achieve this, whilst continuing to seek further amendments to the Bill.”

The following motions were passed at the Council meeting:

1.        Considers that even with the Government’s amendments it cannot support the Health & Social Care Bill
1.        Resolves to oppose the Bill until it is satisfactorily modified
1.        Resolves to critically engage with Government to achieve improvements and to implement clinical commissioning
1.        Will continue to oppose any Bill which seeks to break down the NHS family and treat healthcare as a commodity to be bought and sold in a commercial market
1.        Believes that the NHS should be provided by public bodies or organisations controlled by professionals who also practise in them, and that the Government should rule out substantial increases in commercial involvement in the NHS just as they have a policy that schools should not make profits
1.        Whilst welcoming the new emphasis on patient choice rather than commercial competition believes that choice must not be prioritised over meeting need, reducing inequalities and optimising resources, and calls for this prioritisation of the different duties to be written into the  legislation
1.        Welcomes progress in engagement with Government on workforce and education, public health and confidentiality but recognises that further progress is needed including writing the outcomes into legislation

That this meeting of Council:
1.        recognises the medical profession’s lack of support for the Health and Social Care Bill;
1.        recognises the lack of support from the majority of GPs for involvement in GP/clinical commissioning as proposed in the Health and Social Care Bill;
1.        rejects the idea that the Government’s proposed changes to the Bill will significantly reduce the risk of further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS;
1.        agrees that the Government is misleading the public by repeatedly stating that there will be ‘no privatisation of the NHS’;
1.        calls for the BMA to start a public campaign to call for the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.


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Luxury skincare Brands help cancer patients' skin

QVC Logo

Look on QVC website to save on skincare Wikipedia

And – QVC Shopping Channel helps save money on these brands


There comes a time when the Consultants have unleashed their latest drug, and your skin just gives up trying to cope with horrible dry, scratchy skin.

This is when we need to go for really strong, up-market luxury skincare.

And QVC has come in with some really good deals for products, such as Shiseido and Elemis, that saves when buying.  I have been trying these out, and loving the little extra gifts I have been getting whenever I place an order.


Shiseido is saving my face

Japanese skincare relies very much on solid research, and Shiseido makes a very good range that is ideal for zapping problems caused by drug side effects.

The latest ‘wonder drug’ has bought me out with ‘brillo pad’ skin, and I have been trying out products in the Shiseido Benefiance Range. 

Wrinkle Resist Night Emulsion is a very light serum/lotion, that I pat over my face at night, and it has totally restored my skin.  £59 approx.

During the day I have been using the Firming Massage Mask which very gently gets rid of the rough patches on my face, and has restored my skin to its smooth feel.  Like an advert, I keep on feeling my face to ensure the rough skin has still disappeared, and the lovely soft skin is there – it is!                        £46 approx.

When buying skincare to help deal with with drug side effects, look for the words ‘anti-aging’.  These products don’t stop age effects, but they do go a long way to helping restore your skin, and even if you are a teenager, what helps older skin will also help with zapping dry skin.


Elemis rescues my body skin

It doesn’t matter what problems I have with my body skin, Elemis always comes to the rescue.

Before I go off on holiday, I take time out to have a full body massage at the local Elemis centre;  their flagship centre in Lancashire Court, tucked away behind Bond Street in London is the best way of winding down I know.  Then I make sure I have their bath products with me, which are always useful to get rid of problem skin caused by drug side effects.

Their Tranquil Touch Body Polish is one of the gentlest, but most effective body exfoliating creams, and a must if you are going to use a fake tan, as it gives you lovely smooth skin as a base to tan.

After a bath or shower I ALWAYS  rub in a lotion or oil, such as Elemis’ latest  Cullutox Active Body Oil.  This is especially suitable if you don’t want a too-oily product, as it soaks in immediately.  I had my regular visit to my Dermatologist yesterday, and she had a Spanish doctor in her office, on an exchange visit.  Elemis should have taken a bow, as they were remarking how lovely and soft my skin looked!  In Spain the women use a body oil or lotion as a matter of course every day – it only we did this in Britain we might not see so many raddled and wrinkled old skins!

If you go on the QVC website you will see special offers for all Elemis’ popular products, ranging from £24 upwards.


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