Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swelling On The leg, Swelling In Public Opinion

Today was a good day for me .... I went to my GP, she told me that the rather worrying lump on my calf was probably just a sebaceous cyst, and arranged an ultrascan to check.

Last night wasn't quite so good for a while , because I found the lump and was somewhat concerned as to what it might be. After a while I tried gently squeezing it and it went away, which made me think that I had just burst something like a cyst - definitely not a good thing to do, but at least it probably wasn't anything worse. (By this morning the lump was back, bigger than before.)

But in the intervening worrying time between finding and squeezing I had googled 'lump on leg'. It led to an American forum full of questions from people worried about lumps on their leg that might be cancer. One comment struck me in particular and made me feel glad for the NHS:


Lumps in thighs and hipps
Hi, I have good news and bad news. Starting with the bad news; there are many very dangerous even life threatening. I also understand why you guys are reluctant to go to the doctor. It can be very relative but it can be inexpensive, or absolutely and totally cataclysmic for your finances. In addition dot ors these days never touch your body in any way unless they have to. That being said; you will get an inconclusive x-ray for 3-600 dollars, you will then get a ct cor cat scan to "get a better look at what's going on in there." this will cost 2500$-6000$ . After which if the still think you have some money or patience, they will give you an MRI to get the clearest view possible. Still playing time for the biopsy. Mind you all of these tests have at least a month in-between. And you or you insurance have gotten the bill up to 25000$ now an nobodies laid a hand on you.

Of course, this person's spelling wasn't that great, maybe his cost estimates weren't that great either, but it made me think - again - about the health bill.

With more and more being said against it, the Royal College of GPs coming out against it
and even ConservativeHome saying 'kill the bill' it's time to say enough is enough.

I don't recall the Lib Dems proposing these changes before the last general election. I don't recall the Conservatives doing so either. I believe the Lib Dem leadership should gently say to our coalition partners , "Sorry, this ain't going to happen..." - as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Europe, Cancer And The Coalition

Unlike some other Lib Dem Bloggers, I have only a few qualms about what's happened with Europe this week.

But what does disturb me is the recent proposal regarding making all cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to have to undergo medical assessments in order to receive benefits.

I think George Potter has explained the situation very well here:.

Macmillan aren't happy about this and, aside from all the ethical and moral reasons for us Lib Dems to want this group of cancer patients to receive unconditional support (which is my primary concern), it could potentially turn into a damaging PR disaster for the government and us as a party by association.

Given a choice betwen trusting MacMillan Cancer Care and trusting the government, I think most people will go for the former.... I certainly will....

I really hope that Lib Dems in government get this idea dropped. Quickly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Do You Get For £1.2bn These Days?

I'm pleased to see Lib Dems like Roger Williams raising huge question marks over the government using Philip Green as an advisor:

Roger Williams, Lib Dem MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, said that while Green was "very capable", the reports of his tax arrangements should be "looked at" by HMRC and the Treasury.

"We are very keen that artificial arrangements are minimised," he told the Guardian today.


The paper points out that:

Green, known for partying with model Kate Moss and X Factor svengali Simon Cowell, as well as his business acumen, banked the biggest pay cheque in corporate history in 2005 when his Arcadia fashion business, which owns Topshop, paid a £1.2bn dividend. The record-breaking payment was paid to his wife, Tina, who lives in Monaco and is the direct owner of Arcadia. As a result, no UK income tax was due.


£1.2bn? What does that buy nowadays? Looking around the Guardian website, I found something that nearly matched up:


Avastin prolongs life but drug is too expensive for NHS patients, says Nice

Campaigners last night criticised the health watchdog after it ruled that a drug was too expensive to be prescribed on the NHS – despite evidence that it can prolong life in bowel cancer patients.

Avastin (bevacizumab) can help patients with advanced bowel cancer which has spread to other organs, usually the liver and lungs.

It is the standard treatment for the illness in many countries around the world, and is currently being trialled for use in other cancers, including melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said it had considered the drug, including a risk-sharing scheme from the manufacturer Roche, but still considered the price too high for the extra benefit it gives patients.

Avastin costs almost £21,000 per patient and an estimated 6,500 people per year could be eligible for the drug.




The efficacy isn't fantastic - it only adds an average extra 6 weeks to life expectancy, but it can do better than that:

A teacher diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer today said she was extremely disappointed the health watchdog has turned down a "life-saving" drug for use on the NHS.

Barbara Moss, 55, (below) said she was "living proof" that Avastin works.

In November 2006, she was given three months to live after doctors discovered the cancer had spread to her liver. After two treatments of Avastin, her grapefruit-sized tumour shrank to half its size and she could have surgery. She has been in remission for 18 months.


I note that £20,800 x 6500 = £1.35 billion .
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