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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Little changes form better habits

Chats in the Zoom office this week, inspired by Kellie Anderson’s blog on personal prevention strategies sparked sharing of our own little changes we might have made for the better against all the strange WFH/Lockdown/Covid odds.

Annie S. Anderson, SCPN Co-director

It started with the lockdown garage clear out where we discovered our mothers’ old tea sets. Memories of teacups and saucers from our childhood homes which were saved in glass cabinets and taken out only for special visitors (e.g. the minister or visiting aunts from Canada). 

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Personal prevention strategies : the overlap of Covid-19 and cancer

By Kellie Anderson, MSc

As we slide into the crunchy-leaved depths of September, Covid-19 remains our daily reality. So much so that perhaps some of us are thinking of our lives in terms of BC and DC – Before-Covid and During-Covid. 

This may or may not be a melodramatic assessment of our situation. Only time will tell.

During this unique and rather anxious time many of us have embraced helpful health behaviours, hoping to circumvent our risk of the more acute – and evolving – aspects of the virus. 

Occasional walkers turned into determined hill walkers; smokers quit in droves (at least the under-30s); and an increased number of us were more likely to be cooking, and paying attention to our diet

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You can have your vitamin D and eat it

With autumn fast approaching and holidaying to our favourite sunny destinations on hold, many of us won’t be having a couple of weeks of ‘guaranteed sunshine’ by the sea, opting instead for staycations within Scotland. Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and has been in the news a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to concerns about time spent indoors during lockdown months. The Scottish Government recently issued revised guidance on vitamin D for all age groups, advising everyone (including children) to consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D. There is some confusion amongst the public with regard to vitamin D intakes, with evidence of Scots being unaware of the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements and uncertainty of which supplements to take.  

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The causes of cancer: implications for policy and practice

Professor Richard Martin, University of Bristol

Around 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime (Cancer Research UK). Over 40% of cancers are linked to a combination of 14 major lifestyle and environmental factors that are potentially preventable. The Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP) uses cutting edge statistical methods and genetic data on 10s to 100s of thousands of people to provide high quality evidence on: the causes of cancers; factors influencing the progression of cancer; new ways to predict who will develop or die from these cancers; and new ways to prevent cancer and its progression. 

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Breastfeeding support during a pandemic #WBW2020

It’s World Breastfeeding Week and whilst this year the focus is supporting breastfeeding for a healthier planet…. here we are amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. So for many, this time without face-to-face support has been an extremely difficult one. New mothers navigating a world of breastfeeding alone can be terribly isolating, it is a world which requires friends, peer support, family and in some cases specialists to establish a feeding routine. 

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Netflix and Spin

I remember the feeling I had when I took my bike selfie below – it was the first time I had been on a bike ride for years … and I felt brilliant! The rain poured, the wind blew and my Raynaud’s stricken fingers were chalk white… but I reached my destination, and surprisingly I had 11 kilometres of fun along the way (and 11 kilometres of fun on my way home too!)

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Could electrically assisted bikes keep people active and healthier, for longer?

A quiet revolution is happening on our streets and in our countryside with the escalation in sales and use of electrically assisted bikes (e-bikes) with 60,000 purchased in the UK in 2019 alone, compared with 3 million regular bikes sold in the same time-period. Correctly called a pedelec (not to be confused with a pedalo – which is an altogether different form of activity), e-bikes are enabling people of all abilities to experience cycling whether for recreation, adventures, active commuting or shopping.

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My E-bike Changed My Life

It’s hard to imagine that only 3 years ago I gave up cycling all together, having been a keen cyclist throughout my whole life. At the age of almost 60, I now have chronic osteoarthritis in my right knee due to motor bike accidents when I was young and loads of hill running, hill walking and cycling.  Cycling (and walking) was causing a lot of pain in my knee, especially on long, hard cycle climbs. I even went as far as selling my carbon road bike and put my pride and joy mountain bike, a high-end, full-suspension bike, into storage.

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My E-bike Joy! – Nanette Mutrie

I have been a ‘commuting cyclist’ for most of my working life, wherever I lived and worked I have always tried to find a way to cycle to work – some exercise – not needing to use car – some clearing of thoughts- some fresh air- being my main motivators. All of these were high on my agenda. But now in my late 60s, but still working part-time I began to wonder about an e-bike.

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