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Professional taboos: What doctors will never ask you to do

Here’s a list of things that a good doctor will not do to you or ask you to do:

world Updated: Jan 23, 2013 01:46 IST

Have a prostate cancer test
PSA is a “simple” blood test to check for prostate cancer. Know what it stands for? Prostate Specific Antigen. Or rather, as many doctors will tell you, Persistent Stress and Anxiety. Prostate cancer is far more common — and, usually, less serious — than most people realise. In elderly men, it’s virtually a state of normality. —Tony Copperfield, GP and author of Sick Notes

Follow a low-carb diet

I would never go on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Because although you will probably lose weight, they may kill you. Read about the 43,396 Swedish women followed for an average of 15 years. Those who stuck to low carbs and high protein had a rising risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes, depending on how strict they were and for how long they endured them. —Tom Smith, GP

Use homeopathy
I would never use homeopathic medicines. They are based on an 18th-century practice of diluting particular compounds in water or alcohol to the point where the solution is so weak as to contain no trace of the original compound at all. Adherents of homeopathy believe in the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in the same way as they may believe in a particular religion. —Eddie Chaloner,

Vascular surgeon
Have a screening mammogram

I won’t go for a screening mammogram. Down the microscope, doctors can’t always tell the difference between “dangerous” and “OK to leave alone”. So it is possible to find things “too early” that are not really life-threatening cancer. It appears that for every 15 women who are “screen-diagnosed”, screening can only be credited with one woman not dying of breast cancer.—Susan Bewley, Professor at King’s College London