Archives for category: Health advice

Thanks to Sally Cronin for inspiring me to write a post about the importance of friendship for the Women’s Health Week. Do follow!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


I am very grateful to Olga for taking time out this week to contribute this article on The Importance of Friends.  And congratulations on the release of her third book in the trilogy Angelic Business this Thursday.

The Importance of Friends by author Olga Núñez Miret

Thanks so much to Sally for asking me to participate in her series of posts to celebrate national girlfriends’ day with a week of posts on women’s health. It’s a very important topic and one close to my heart.

I’m a doctor, a psychiatrist, a writer and translator, and evidently, I’m a woman. Although I’m not working in psychiatry at the moment, I worked for nearly ten years in male psychiatric units (because I worked in Forensic Psychiatry and secure units, like prisons, are segregated by gender. There was a move to do the same with general psychiatric units and in some places it…

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Hi all:

This is not a topic I tend to talk about usually. I’m a doctor, a psychiatrist to be more precise, but I started the blog to talk about writing and miscellaneous topics, rather than to provide medical advice (there are many sites that offer that and of course, you should always be guided by your doctor and health professionals).

Prostate (image: Cancer Research UK)

Prostate (image: Cancer Research UK)

Due to personal circumstances I’ve been thinking about prostate cancer. My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 of prostate cancer in November 2013 (it had already spread to the bones by the time it was diagnosed). He’d never presented with any localised symptoms at prostate level (no urinary symptoms) and other symptoms were very unspecific aches and pains…I remember the class when the urology professor discussed that topic. ‘In the autumn of life when everything decays and shrinks, in men there is an organ that grows and flowers, the prostate’. And his advice was that any men over 50 should be checked. Although at the time tests were quite invasive, these days blood tests (PSA), although not 100%, can raise a high suspicion.

Video of symptoms:

Not everyone experiences symptoms of prostate cancer. Many times, signs of prostate cancer are first detected by a doctor during a routine check-up.

Some men, however, will experience changes in urinary or sexual function that might indicate the presence of prostate cancer. These symptoms include:


A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

Weak or interrupted flow of urine

Painful or burning urination

Difficulty in having an erection

Painful ejaculation

Blood in urine or semen

Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above.


Because these symptoms can also indicate the presence of other diseases or disorders, such as BPH (Benign Prostate Hypertrophy) or prostatitis, men will undergo a thorough work-up to determine the underlying cause. (

Ask, pester, don’t just let it go or think it’s nothing. It’s better if the doctors tell you that. There are lots of treatments and it’s always best to put your minds at rest.

I leave you a few websites with plenty of information, but check with your doctor and health professionals:

And a reader of the original post suggested I share this post with you about the effects of chemotherapy (my father experimented quite a few of them):


Effects of chemotherapy

Most people will recover fully from those effects, but it is worth being fully informed, prepared, and asking questions in  case of doubt.

Here is the link to the above post if you want to check that useful resource too:

Of course, check information about other types of cancer and be aware.

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please share, comment, like and CLICK! And do check!

If you’re wondering about my Dad, he’s had hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, many complications and things haven’t gone too well. So please, do take care.



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