Varicose veins are often thought to be "only" a cosmetic problem. However research over the last decade or so has shown this to be wrong. Some 20% of patients with varicose veins will go on to get leg ulcers if left untreated. Others will get swollen ankles, skin damage, discomfort, phlebitis or rarely bleeding.
There are moments in family life when time seems to stand still, and for me, one of those came in the spring of 2013, when my father Tazi revealed to my mother, my brother and myself that he had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. New drugs are now coming through and one of them has made an immense difference to my father's quality of life over the last year... Every moment that abiraterone continues to work is a blessing. It has helped him maintain his professional life and continue doing the things he enjoys - so much so that at times I almost forget he has cancer, let alone one that has spread and is at an advanced stage.
Start at Rialto Bridge to re-live heated conversations from The Merchant of Venice and experience the views this tourist trap offers over the city's canals. Take a trip to the area known as the 'Jewish Ghetto' and see one of the city's stunning synagogues, like the Levantine Synagogue, where Al Pacino prayed in the role of Shylock in the 2004 film.
The NHS is changing rapidly but care for all patients, including those diagnosed with breast cancer, must remain a top priority. There are around 570,000 people thought to be living with breast cancer in the UK, and each one deserves the best quality care at every stage of their diagnosis and treatment.
Yesterday, a small group of us in Leicester shacked up in our students' union armed with a whiteboard, a camera and a load of cakes to give away for free, in return for a #nicenomination. Firstly what struck us was the sheer difficulty people faced opening up and writing something kind about someone they knew.
Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), says in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, that patients should be more pro-active about their health and 'pushier' with their GPs. How realistic is his view, and where does our responsibility towards ourselves as patients start and that of a medical professional end?
As we all know, the medical world moves slowly, particularly when it comes to recommendations or guidelines. In many instances when drugs or malignant conditions are being assessed, there is a very good rationale for this slow change and there are many examples to support a thorough and well-reasoned (albeit slow) approach.
Over the last decade there has been a gradual shift away from traditional 'open' vein surgery (the so called 'tie and strip' operation) towards the newer operations that use lasers and other heat-based techniques. These are safer, less invasive, and quicker - patients can leave the hospital on the same day, an hour after the procedure.