Over the last few months we’ve been sharing blog posts about how important clinical trials are to the future of medicine. This month I’d like to share how such research impacts directly on women undergoing hysterectomy and related treatments for gynaecological conditions they often present with.
Volunteering for clinical trials is always something that requires a great deal of thought and it’s often motivated by a personal experience of health issues and a desire to prevent problems for others in the future. Shirley Dimblebee is a regular participant and she shares her experiences and reasons with us as an encouragement for others to help out too.
I’ve suffered horribly with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis possibly and I’ve contributed some of my story to this site in the past (campaigning-for-better-recognition-of-endometriosis-and-adenomyosis-elaines-story/). However, I was also desperately keen to try to improve things for other sufferers; although I admit that I was maybe a little uncertain as to how.
Medical research is an area that has many different perspectives and questions about it’s value to patients. Over the next few months I’m going to be hosting a few interviews with various people who have been involved in medical research work. The best answers to the questions that are raised will always come from those who have experienced it, either as a researcher or as a participant. My first guest is Doctor/Researcher, Jim Bush, Associate Medical Director at Covance Covance Clinical Research.
The ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) has recently joined the “Choosing Wisely Campaign”, which was initiated by the American Board of Internal Medicine to compile lists of medically unnecessary screenings, and has recommended that screening for ovarian cancer is not necessarily effective. Number five on the list addresses ovarian cancer screening.
Our brand new hysterectomy book, In My Own Words: Women’s Experiences of Hysterectomy, has almost been completed and it’s time to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in the project. From the contributors without whose efforts there would be no book, to the backers of our Kickstarter project who funded it’s creation it’s been an exciting and interesting few months to say the least. I’ve learnt a lot about processes, planning and project development, as well as even more about the experiences that women have when they have a hysterectomy and finally, the project is drawing to its close.
Why are medical trials necessary? It’s a question that’s relatively easy to answer, after all medications cannot be prescribed by doctors unless they have been subjected to clinical trials. Studies are carried out on promising new treatments to provide answers regarding their effectiveness and how they are absorbed by the body. Carefully conducted clinical trials provide pharmaceutical companies with the safest and most effective way of ensuring new treatments work, and volunteers are always required to help to develop the medicines of the future.
There are not many activities that provide the chance for you to make a positive difference to the lives of millions of people and to receive compensation for doing so. Volunteering to take part in a clinical trial is the exception. Covance are presently looking for post menopausal or surgically sterile women to participate in our latest clinical study.
After writing last month about the numbers of hysterectomies being performed in the UK, it seemed like a good idea to try and represent this in some sort of visual format.
Well here you are operation over like me, and hopefully free from all the problems that made it necessary. So what next? Well as an enforced lady of leisure how about trawling though your make-up and having a throw out? I would take a bet from many years of advising women about their make-up that there are plenty of things to chuck! How about that impulse buy when you were delayed at Gatwick the other year or the lipstick that looked just great on your best girl friend but somehow doesn’t do anything for you. Then there is the eyeshadow palette you got for Christmas one time – you know the one with twelve bright shimmery colours but only one that really looks any good? Enough, out with them!