General discussion

Stella 2020

Research paper from internet

Hi Like everyone here I am prone to search online for bowel cancer related articles.

However, there are many many very low quality articles out there to confuse us even more. The Chinese saying is ‘if you believe everything in the book, then it is better not to read any book at all’.

I am a dentist and have done a master degree with a large part on critical thinking but a complete layman when it comes to bowel cancer. However, the same critical thinking applies to any medical research. If anyone is interested in this there are courses for it.

There are quite a few resources/ website that are already reviewed by experts and have quality information for us, such as this website. A few others are:
BMJ only high quality research is included. The European research group. The royal college specialised in bowel conditions National audit on colorectal cancer outcome. Your can check your trust performance level.

Hope this helps with fellow internet surfers :x::x:


Thanks @Stella 2020 I will take a look. Midwife with Masters in Public Health :x::x:

Stella 2020
Quote from @Nats53:
Thanks @Stella 2020 I will take a look. Midwife with Masters in Public Health

For my master degree there is a large element on critical thinking which was very eye opening, hence my mentioning of it. I found analysing medical research is very different from other things. People often skip methodology and just go for the results. A professor said he could structure a trial on any dental product so that it seemed to perform better than the rivals.
Please add any other website you feel offers high quality evidence based advice. :x::x:


Morning @Stella 2020, thank you for sharing this, - I totally agree with you. Peer reviewing for example is so important whether reading about traditional treatments or an Integrative approach to cancer care.

Have a good weekend, Kim :x::x:


Hi @Stella 2020 thanks for this. i agree that it is good to focus on reputable sources. Beating Bowel Cancer has some really useful ones and I think they are also reliable, which is good.

I've really mixed feelings about stuff like this. I really like to be well informed...and am someone who likes to be proactive in terms of my own treatment. Also I'm a researcher and I am well used to literature reviews and working with sources etc, but i am very wary about this kind of thing, because a) I don't have an oncology/colorectal surgery background and am not a medic, so although I can look up terminology, I don't think I have the ability to fully understand the implications etc. And also i can see that a study was published in say the BMJ or Lancet, fine, but then so many studies are small cohorts or later are refuted and I don't know if looking at this kind of thing is really helpful to me (I say this because I realise it is very much a personal thing and I wouldn't criticise anyone for looking a these articles!) I find my onc and colorectal surgeon are really up to date with all this stuff and i ask them questions about what the stats or latest studies say and they are well informed (As far as I can tell) so I do feel like I just need to go with it a bit.... and not question everything. However, if we are going to google it all, I totally agree, the peer review is absolutely crucial, as is bearing in mind that so much about cancer treatment is so new! so its a moving target in many ways


@Stella 2020 thank you so much for these links, I've bookmarked this thread. You're making an excellent point about critical thinking and looking at the methodology. In an ideal world, the teams looking after us would have the time to regularly improve their knowledge and skills. But we don't live in an ideal world, and keeping an eye on the research ourselves, whenever we can, is an advantage.

Stella 2020

Hi @Clarice08 , @louise28 , @Lirio345, thank you for your kind comments.
I have a quite a few doctors as patients. I found them the most laid back patients and tend not to ask any questions about their treatment (albeit dentistry is hardly comparable to cancer treatment). I think they either trust me as a professional and let me get on with it or they don’t and would go somewhere else.
My approach is a bit similar. Firstly, do I have confidence in the consultants that treat me? I will check their qualifications esp their sub specialist interests. These should match my condition. For surgeons, I would like to see an audit of their results ie clear margin rate. How many similar cases do they perform a year. It is all about high quality and high volume. For oncologist, their PHD/ MD, publications, should be in the area of my condition.
I also have a look at the website mentioned above so I have a broad sense of the treatments offered. Given my condition seemed be run of the mill stuff. I am happy with the team and their plan. If I have more rare or serious situation, I would get a second option just to be sure.
After that I just leave the team to it. They know a lot more than I do! :x::x:

For surgeons, I would like to see an audit of their results ie clear margin rate. How many similar cases do they perform a year.

@Stella 2020 where/how can you check that?
Very interesting that your doctor-patients tend not to ask much.

Stella 2020
Quote from @Clarice08:
@Stella 2020 where/how can you check that?
Very interesting that your doctor-patients tend not to ask much.
This gives audit on individual hospital on their performance. Unfortunately not individual surgeons. However there can be big differences between hospitals. Addenbrookes (where I go) 98% and performed the surgery 59 times in a year, while west Suffolk hospital (not far from me either) 88% and not early as many cases. So I choose to go to addenbrookes. I had LASIK to my eyes some years ago, the eye surgeon has fully published audit results which made me choose him.
Hope this helps :x:


WOW! @Stella 2020 !!!
My method is judging how they react to my smile.
If that fails, 10 minutes of my sense of humour should crack the toughest nut.

More seriously, I have tried to find out about the different consultants assigned to myself. Not so much as to choose the best but just to avoid the worst.