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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Recognising and overcoming an alcohol addiction

We are very grateful to an SCPN member, now an independent researcher, for sharing this very personal but hopeful account of her struggle to overcome her problem drinking.

I am now in control of my drinking. It feels good to say that, yet somewhat uneasy, as it’s never a ‘done deal’. I started drinking at 18, and it has taken me 16 years to get to a place where I can say that without an inkling of guilt, without wincing at the odd indiscretion or blow out.

I started drinking heavily at University. I went to the University of Sussex, near Brighton, which is an amazing place to be a student! There were several on-campus bars, and there was one literally 30 paces from my shared accommodation. It was great to get to know new people, and the cheap snakebites were a great conversation facilitator. It was acceptable to go every evening after dinner; there was no judgement. It helped us bond at a time when that felt so monumentally important for all that lay ahead of us.

Continue reading “Recognising and overcoming an alcohol addiction”

Life skills for adult physical activity: The basics first…then Wimbledon!

The current recommendations for health, wellbeing and cancer risk reduction highlight the importance of physical activity. Sometimes people mistakenly refer to exercise when they mean physical activity, and therein lies the potential for a whole load of biased views, often stemming from negative experiences of sports and exercise in schooldays.

Continue reading “Life skills for adult physical activity: The basics first…then Wimbledon!”

Improving Referral for Colonoscopy

On the 7th June 2016, the Westminster Government approved the recommendation of the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) to replace the current test used in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BSCP) in England with a newer test, the Faecal Immunochemical Test for haemoglobin (FIT). The Scottish Government had already announced the change from the traditional guaiac-based faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) to FIT on 18th February 2015. The rationale for these advances have been very well documented, as have the many advantages of FIT over gFOBT.

Continue reading “Improving Referral for Colonoscopy”

Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: When Worlds Collide

Spring has sprung and very welcome it is too. Nights are lighter, the weather’s a little better…and every single member of the human race has made their individual way to precisely the same outdoor places as me!

Continue reading “Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: When Worlds Collide”

Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: Walking It Off

‘Walking It Off’ is a phrase I have heard over the years and associated with footballers and the like, limping up and down the side-lines as they tentatively test some war wound or another, under the watchful gaze of their physio.

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It seems slightly unbelievable that I now subscribe to precisely the same reason and urge you to take heed. Continue reading “Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: Walking It Off”

Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: Walk with Mike

Somewhere at the back of my mind I knew that I had read something that made me want to walk. It is a slam dunk, 100% dead cert that wasn’t any article or book written by an athletic sort beseeching us over-committed, footsore schlubs to join them in their quest for abs of steel. It wasn’t a stern warning in a health related publication, nor a yellow card from a health professional, but something that made me think it might actually be quite enjoyable. Continue reading “Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: Walk with Mike”

Auntie Jean and Auntie Norma – Challenges in Cancer Prevention

Everyone knows of an ‘Auntie Jean’. She is the older woman, who liked a good drink, hearty meals, and big puddings and specialises in spectator sport (with feet up in front of the telly). She scores 0 for lifestyle actions for reducing cancer risk. Not a second thought to worrying about health (“the doctor never said I was doing anything wrong“), lived well over the three score years and ten, and dropped dead one day without bothering a soul.

Continue reading “Auntie Jean and Auntie Norma – Challenges in Cancer Prevention”

Cutting Cancer Cases – Ready Steady Go!

More than two thousand years ago Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, noted that if we all had “the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”. In general, all too few of us are following Hippocrates’ advice today.

In cancer terms, we know that 4 in 10 cancer cases in the UK could be prevented largely by changes to lifestyle. In this blog post I’ll be looking at one of these changes: being physically active. Continue reading “Cutting Cancer Cases – Ready Steady Go!”

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: Working Together To Stay Well

As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we’re running a series of mini-blogs from cancer experts. Here’s the final instalment from Debbie Provan.

I would like the public to know that healthy lifestyle choices are still important after a diagnosis of bowel cancer, and that whole families can work together on this. Whilst those being treated for bowel cancer may have some dietary restrictions placed upon them as a result of treatment, in general people should aim to eat a well balanced diet, keep physically active and maintain a healthy body weight Continue reading “Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: Working Together To Stay Well”

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