Is medicine “just plumbing with more expensive tools?”

“Picard, you’re a hard man to ignore. But it’s well worth the effort.”

This pithy critique, delivered by an unnamed Canadian politician to André Picard, is now his unofficial bio, boasts The Globe and Mail’s veteran public health journalist and author. When Picard was honoured as the winner of the 2011 Hyman Solomon Journalism Award by the Public Policy Forum last year, he delivered a short but brilliant thank you speech that he called “The Five Mantras of Health Care Reform.”  Here’s the text of his important message: Continue reading

Should we stop calling it prostate “cancer”?

“We do ourselves a disservice when diagnoses as wildly different as a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme (a brain tumour that is virtually 100% fatal) and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (a prostate condition more likely to make you pee frequently than to kill you) are both described as cancer.”

So claims a thoughtful Globe and Mail reflection called Can the Word ‘Cancer’ Be More Harmful Than the Disease? by health columnist André Picard. It’s all about the power of words – and particularly the C-word. Continue reading