Physiotherapy And Cancer

Published by:

The attack that cancer launches on the body is brutal. It comes from all directions and effects all things. It does not come on soft, it comes on all too hard. Brutally hard. Your body is under attack and really needs all the help it can get to survive. Today we’re going to look at the potential of Physiotherapy in the care of cancer patients and cancer survivors. As cancer is an attack on the body physiotherapy is a key part of helping the body recover or stave off some of the effects of cancer.


The condition of having cancer and the effects of its treatment have a whole host of terrible physical and physiological results. Even once treatment ends the after effects can last for many, many years. In this period exercise can be of extreme palliative benefit for all patients at all times of their care. It has become clear recently that, as the Charted Society of Physiotherapy say: “Inclusion of physiotherapy-led exercise within cancer pathways can reduce and prevent disability“. This is very positive news, physiotherapy can also have proven effects on Lymphoedema and fatigue. Such symptoms are some of the most distressing and straining effects of cancer and its treatment so any way that such pain can be eased must be researched and used.


Exercise is good for you, it is good for you mentally and physically, and it has been shown to have a significant positive effect on the risk of recurrence in cancer survivors and on mortality. The statistics on the matter are quite stunning: Mortality can reduce by 50% in bowel cancer, 40% in breast cancer and 30% in prostate cancer through concerted physiotherapy. Stunning.


Through combined work with a physio in Liverpool it has been shown that 3 hours of targeted exercise a week can reduce disease progression by a massive 57% in men with prostate cancer. The benefits of Physiotherapy for cancer patients and survivors cannot be under estimated.


A Note On Domestic Environment

Published by:

We all know that much of your chances of getting cancer are defined by genetic factors. And we all know that smoking will certainly tip you toward the cancerous side of life. And of course, if you eat badly and don’t exercise enough and drink to much then you know that you’re heading toward a much higher risk of getting some form of this terrible disease to some degree or another. Sun and UV are also well known causes of cancer. They can really be an issue, and you got to be careful of radiation exposure. Because that stuff can really cause cancer.



But what about where you live? Huh? Have you thought about that? Well you should. What about Radon? Radon is a odourless, colourless, radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer from long periods of exposure. Odourless, colourless and radioactive, just like David Cameron on his way back from renewing trident. And what about Hair dyes? A very large amount of women, especially women at more cancer-vulnerable ages, use hair dye and so do a lot of men, and much research indicates that they could encourage certain types of cancer. So you could be completely unnecessarily destroying yourself for the weakest of reasons, just for a completely meaningless superficial achievement. Similarly, antiperspirant is out to get you, it is widely thought to be a cause of breast cancer. Is that really worth it? Just shower more. And smell sometimes. If someone truly loves you, they will love how you smell as you. Unless you smell really, really horrible or for some reason have no smell at all. Like David Cameron.


And lead. And Acrylate. And Teflon. And Polytetrafluoroethylene. And Talcom Powder. And Water Flouridation. And Cosmetics. And Recombinant bovine growth hormone. And Cellular Phones. And Aspartame. But also, also some other things, some other things like what we may have mentioned before. We have spoken about domestic energy production before here, and today I just want to mention another alternative to gas burning and fume creating evilness. That would be wood pellet burners as a way of heating your house.


The supply of wood pellets is now incredibly cheap and well organised (check out this website) and there really is no excuse not to be switching to this far greener and far less carcinogenic form of domestic energy production. Also, who doesn’t want to have a fire in their house! It’s great. So go for it, and have less cancer in your body.


Cancer, Politics and Funding: Part 1

Published by:

It seems every generations are promised a ‘war on cancer’ by political leaders scrapping for a fight they feel people can get behind. Cancer is great for politicians for one simple reason: no one is pro-cancer. Well, apart from population reductionists who believe that the only way we are going to survive is if masses are wiped out, and that things like cancer are just the eco-systems way of re-balancing itself. But those people are not a big voting demographic, they are more of the ‘what is the point of choosing which member of the illuminati rules over you’ bent. So we are regularly told that one leader or another is declaring a ‘War On Cancer’.

download (4)

But, is this #war really so great? So virtuous? Is it maybe as misguided as the ‘war’ on terror or the ‘war’ on drugs? Also, does everything have to be a war? Is that really the only way we can conceive of problems in our society? As a simplistic other that we must bomb till its stops being a problem? Because that is a terrible misrepresentation of the truth. The reality of many of the ‘wars’ declared by political establishments is not so much that they are misguided but that they are actually guided quite effectively to achieve the politicians goal, it is just that their goal is not the one the final word of their battle cry claims. As 2 pac said:

“Instead of war on poverty,
they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me”

2Pac, from ‘Changes’

The real problem in drug ridden communities in America is poverty, but that is a problem so embedded in the very cogs and machinery of American capitalism that it cannot be confronted by those whose job it is to maintain these very structures for the benefit of those who ride its waves and convulsions to a world of privilege and wealth. So the war on poverty, one that requires a genuine examination of America’s dark soul, is put off and replaced with a war on drugs, a perpetual war that does little to help the effected communities or counter the drug trade, but rather escalates the militarism and violence of this trade and aides in the criminalization of poverty, especially for the black and poor (‘I’m tired of being poor, and even worse, I’m black. My stomach hurts so I’m looking for a purse to snatch’). A key thing to understand about elitist political structures, that is structures that are predicated on the fact of mass political inequality by pooling the peoples power into a tiny minority, is that decisions are only made and causes only taken up when they are in the interests of the elite. In modern western capitalism, where political and economic elites intertwine so seamlessly a Venn diagram of the two would leave a single circle, this means that governmental causes are causes because they do not threaten the embedded powers.


“I will also ask for an appropriation of an extra $100 million to launch an intensive campaign to find a cure for cancer, and I will ask later for whatever additional funds can effectively be used. The time has come in America when the same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease. Let us make a total national commitment to achieve this goal” Richard Nixon in 1971, State of the Union Address

‘Concentrated effort’. That is what they are looking for, something to concentrate the nations gaze on, a moral cause we can all get behind, a moral cause you’d have to be a terrible person not to support, a moral cause that is ‘non-ideological’. In a neo-liberal world, it is the ‘non-ideological’ that is the most politically insidious. It is the ‘non-ideological’ that provides the biggest pillar to the ruling class. It is the ‘non-idealogical’ that best feeds the false consciousness that twists reality out of shape, turning healthcare into a war, destroying our natural equality and enforcing mass inequality, and telling us to hold up our rulers as heroes, because they have promised a war on cancer.

Well, leaders,  I don’t want your war on cancer. I don’t want your war on drugs. I don’t even want your war on poverty. I want a war on you.

When you peel it all away, it is the only war that exists.


Cancer, Rest And Exercise

Published by:

Newspapers have been getting a bit hot and bothered recently about the idea that there has maybe one rather important mistake that has long been being made by those treating cancer in this country and other countires and all of Europe and america and Asia and the world, the world, THE WORLD i TELLS YA! This fear is that the traditional idea that cancer needs rest (that’s right, rest) rest to recover may be damn crazy and perhaps not actually (actually) true (WHAT! I hear you say, what the what! Uncle Badminton could still be with us! But they told him to never play badminton ever again, and he stayed in bed STAYED IN BED AND DIED! AND HOW MANY MORE HAVE TO DIE?! HUH?! AGHHHHHHHH!) it might be that actually exercise could help tackle some of cancers worst effects and maybe even maybe make it not be quite as bad as it could be even though it is cancer which we agree is really rather quite bad really but maybe (maybe) some of the most uncomfortable parts of it (like the death part) could be got rid off with some exercise maybe.


“Doctors and nurses need to ‘bust the myth’ that cancer patients should simply rest to recover,” Claims The Daily Telegraph. Exercise might help. But how intense we talking? Like super intense personal training type of stuff? Like when you get driven to the edge of your ability and capacity? I don’t think so. That sounds a BIT much. But, some research has shown that post recovery exercise reduces the chance of breast cancer returning by 40%, the chance of colon cancer returning or dying from colorectal cancer by 50% and, in men, reduces the chance of dying from prostate cancer by 30%. Those are pretty big stats. With the appropriately extensive time on the Treatment Table could exercise make a dramatic difference to fatality rates?


At the moment cancer patients are regularly encouraged to get almost zero exercise so all their energy can go to recovering. Is that right? What do you’ll think?

Let us know below.




Ideas for the Fight

Published by:

Almost all of us who encounter the end stages of cancer, and by end stages I mean most things post diagnosis, most of the time, know that realistically fighting cancer is about prevention. Especially when we are talking about the societal level of the problem. Which I think we have too. So I believe that it is our role as practitioners who are supposed to be part of the fight against cancer to join on all fronts. That means treatment. That means the pursuit of a cure. And that means prevention. That is how we will fight cancer.



So I personally like to keep on top of potential new developments in the field, new ideas about what causes cancer and how we can prevent it. As more and more research points toward the probability that Diesel exhaust fumes are carcinogenic (‘Diesel exahaust fumes ‘definitely’ cause cancer- should we be worried?’ Cancer Research UK ) I think we need to be taking much more caution regarding what we burn and how we burn it generally. I’m sure that in the future people will look back on our time and think it mad that we were happy waking past the back of our cars burning gas in houses. This last one I really can’t believe we are doing. Personally I switched to a biomass boiler a long time ago. Biomass is all natural and is not going to be emitting any chemicals that could be carcinogenic. So really a Biomass Boiler is a safe bet. Or as safe a bet as you’re going to find.

images (1)


But that is all we are ever really talking about here: a bet. It is all a bet and it is all a gamble. There is nothing else you can really do, you just have to try and live your life to the fullest and get things done and try to do your best to avoid cancer.




The Oath

Published by:

Saving people from cancer is a pretty stressful job. In reality you don’t really save people, or at least, very rarely do you save people. More often you simply try your best to help, try to stem the flow of evil and pain and despair. And so you should, you owe it to these poor bastards; you owe it to them because you have the skills, the knowledge and the equipment. You owe it to them as your fellow human. You owe it to them even if they would do nothing to help you. You owe it to them because you took an oath. A sacred oath.

I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius the surgeon, likewise Hygeia and Panacea, and call all the gods and goddesses to witness, that I will observe and keep this underwritten oath, to the utmost of my power and judgment.

I will reverence my master who taught me the art. Equally with my parents, will I allow him things necessary for his support, and will consider his sons as brothers. I will teach them my art without reward or agreement; and I will impart all my acquirement, instructions, and whatever I know, to my master’s children, as to my own; and likewise to all my pupils, who shall bind and tie themselves by a professional oath, but to none else.

With regard to healing the sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.

Nor shall any man’s entreaty prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone; neither will I counsel any man to do so. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy the child.

Further, I will comport myself and use my knowledge in a godly manner.

I will not cut for the stone, but will commit that affair entirely to the surgeons.

Whatsoever house I may enter, my visit shall be for the convenience and advantage of the patient; and I will willingly refrain from doing any injury or wrong from falsehood, and (in an especial manner) from acts of an amorous nature, whatever may be the rank of those who it may be my duty to cure, whether mistress or servant, bond or free.

Whatever, in the course of my practice, I may see or hear (even when not invited), whatever I may happen to obtain knowledge of, if it be not proper to repeat it, I will keep sacred and secret within my own breast.

If I faithfully observe this oath, may I thrive and prosper in my fortune and profession, and live in the estimation of posterity; or on breach thereof, may the reverse be my fate!



This oath should be the beginning of any discussion about medicine. From paracetamol to open heart surgery, it all starts here. And on this site, where we will discuss one fairly important area of medicine, it matters as much as anywhere else.