Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Dear News360,

I wanted to thank you for your "Health Tips" article yesterday on pelvic lymph node dissection for prostate cancer. The graphic you featured, in particular, was quite helpful:

"What's that noise? Frank Netter rolling over."

Now, I have to admit I'm over 20 years removed from anatomy class, and being a neurologist don't really deal with dem lymph node thingies too much.

But, to the best of my recollection, the area shown in your pic is NOT (unless you're Linda Lovelace) where you'll generally find the pelvic lymph nodes, regardless of whether or not you possess a prostate.

I wasn't too sure, though. I mean, medicine is a field that's constantly changing, so I asked a friend who's an OB/GYN, since I figured she deals with that area (though not for prostate issues) more than I ever will. Her response (after "Are you fucking kidding me?") was: "Along the iliac veins." That's medicalese for "they're in the pelvis, you dork. Duh."

I also like your phrase "doors of the prostate." Honestly, I'm not sure how to take that. While I own a prostate, I've never really thought of it in terms of having doors, windows, or pretty much any other standard features of building architecture.

There's also your use of the word "unfold" to mean "spread" or "metastasize." It makes it sound like cancer is really a form of malignant laundry (although my colleague Webhill insists that all laundry is malignant).

For that matter, I wasn't sure about the way the rest of the article was written, either. While your writer appears to be using a pen name, I have to wonder who's really dictating the text.

Yours truly,

I. B. Grumpy, M.D.

Thank you, Diver Dan!


Anonymous said...

Just did a search on that site for more articles by Jean-Paul Marat. Thinks i english not language first his. One of the most amusing sentences: "How fashionable is prostate most cancers?"
So, men, to be in fashion this season, you really must contract prostate cancer.
For a head-shaking experience, read more of his articles.

Anonymous said...

The text sounds like it was in another language originally and someone used Google Translate to get it into English (of a sort!).But that doesn't explain the illustration.

bunkywise said...

I agree...it reads like the instructions for a Japanese blue tooth speaker. Translated and badly. But I don't speak more than a few words of other languages so I have no room to criticize.

bunkywise said...

Funny, my comment brought up an ad for Pimsleur! Point taken!

Library-Gryffon said...

It does indeed sound like one of the more egrigious examples of Engrish, or perhaps marmoset craunching.

Anonymous said...

What, oh what, would I do without my daily dose of the outrageous from Dr. Grumpy? I shudder to think!

Tsunoba said...

I'm curious, did you provide context before or after asking her about the location?

Anonymous said...

I don't know about your screen, but the shape sort of looked like what one might imagine of male anatomy, but hey, we worked on cats in our dissection labs (and fetal pigs), so what would I know.

On the other hand, the colors of those 'lymph' nodes seem what might be termed a shade of virulent green and cryonic cranberry. I don't think that I could concentrate on learning much in that article with the distraction of the illustrations. Still, on the other hand, my brothers and uncle do have red/green colorblindness so this could very well be just be so much ho-hum to them.

Hattie said...

Fascinating. If I desire one, can I get it?

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to see a blog on the difficulty of having a patient with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (type 3, so we can avoid the vascular stuff) and similar disorders. I personally have HEDS and know that especially finding a primary who can cope with it is insanely hard and always yielding to their supposedly superior knowledge I still step on toes without trying (by bringing in research to support my claims because they go unheard).The diagnostic criteria now includes problems with narcotics, not just locals, but still trying to get a doctor's help is near impossible. The ones who understand are almost blackmailed or held hostage by the rules of the institution that employs them. I have heard so many say "I wish I could do more" and (especially for the support group I run, Missouri and Illinois EDSers) I'd love to get a doctor's take with treating patients with an uncurable illness that makes everything from imaging to blood tests less reliable and causes things that don't fit the parameters you'd generally abide by. I've read your stuff and I think you have the right mix between "let's just drug you up" and "oh I'm sure it can't be that bad" so I'd like to hear it from you. Have a great day! -Serina Caswell

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