Medical News

Take my hand and let me walk you through my year of news. The stories that mattered but we didn’t touch or the stories that really don’t matter but we’d love you to touch. Buckle in at the back, I’m about to switch on the afterburners.

David Boyle, Surgo Editor 2015-16

In my previous role as Arts Editor of Surgo I wrote an article on the Ig Nobel Prize – a prize awarded for teams who undertake research that “makes people laugh and then think”. Whilst this ethos is one adopted by everyone at Surgo we tend to confuse the two and ourselves thus stunting our research, however the winners this year will be puckering up to celebrate their victory and so should all my fellow atopic individuals! In September 2015 in the bowels of Harvard University The Medicine Award was given jointly to two teams, one from Japan & China and one from Slovakia & Germany, for their work studying the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities). What they found was that kissing reduces allergic skin wheal responses and allergen-specific IgE production. So next time you’re caught out with hives, just whack out this copy of Surgo and pucker up – it’s experiment time. Anti-histamines will be out of business this Summer.

Whilst Surgo likes controversy (see every issue ever), we try to keep our head down and laces straight. However we can’t help but report the news that members of the once-glorious now-defunct Commonwealth are making moves to legalise the use of Medicinal Marijuana. The state of Victoria in Australia became the first state to legalise the manufacturing and consumption of the drug for “medicinal purposes”. It follows in the footsteps of Canada in legalising Cannabis for medicinal purposes. Despite cries of “420blaze-it Sheila” and “Fosters tastes s**t after a blunt”, this will only be available for children with Severe Epilepsy and may be extended to patients suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, HIV/AIDS and those suffering from Nausea associated with chemotherapy. Whilst there are cries for a wider legalisation programme, it is essential to focus on those at need and if patients can improve their quality of life from something as simple and harmless as this then bring it on. Personally cannot imagine prescribing something vilified in the press and in school from a young age but perhaps this may be the future for Doctors across the World.

Breast isn’t always best you know, with breast cancer one of the leading killers of women in the U.K. research has been driven towards decreasing mortality for many years.  Personally I enjoy thigh but regardless we’re not talking about chicken. Instead it is the work of the Sanger Institute in Cambridge which has declared a “milestone” in cancer research with the discovery of 93 protein-coding cancer genes carrying probably driver mutations. Mutations have already been successfully targeted through drugs such as Herceptin so it is hoped that by handing this research to Universities (Yay!) and Pharma Companies ($$$!) then the future may be bright for those who have suffered directly or indirectly as a result of Breast Cancer.

The Royal College of Physicians has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons by suggesting that there is resounding evidence around the safety of ‘vaping’ and highlights the value in aiding patients’ smoking cessation . One in 20 adults in England is puff-puffing on an E-cigarette but perhaps we’ll be seeing more and more of these with the release of further evidence. However with disagreements over the regulation of these products, it may be a while before we see doctors prescribing vaping to their patients. For now, a patch and a cold shower may have to do.

Junior Doctors are bad people… (some news may have been blindly syphoned from the BBC and other sources) At time of publishing junior doctors have all left the country. We are the future. Fiji anyone?