Doctors Say Don't Bother Treating Some Common Problems

By Gary Cutlack on at

A panel of expert doctors has assembled a list of 40 ailments that it thinks don't really need to be treated as much or as aggressively as they currently are, in advice that basically tells the nation to stop fussing.

The full list compiled by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges includes advice that you might as well just use water to clean out grubby grazes on children's knees, says that kids with breathing problems often get better all by themselves without the usual array of inhalers, plus it warns that chemotherapy may only be of use to some patients in relieving the symptoms of cancers and that using it as a hopeful cure can in fact lead to a lower quality of life.

The Academy says it's not really the fault of the health services, as it's often the patient -- armed with printouts of what Google says the problem is -- that push for minor problems to be over-treated.

The Academy's professor Sue Bailey told the BBC: "Some of these treatments can be quite invasive, time-consuming; there are simpler and as-safe options, so why wouldn't you? Because I think what we've got is a culture of 'we can do something, therefore we should do something' and we need to stop and reflect and decide what is the best option for the patient in their individual circumstances." [BBC]

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