Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First



The Scottish Cancer Prevention network is focussed on moving evidence on cancer risk reduction into everyday life, practice and policy.

Katie Robb chats 2021 for preventing cancer

In 2020,  many research projects were stalled, paused or stopped. Yet the importance of cancer research on prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, care and quality of life remains as high as ever. Our research communities in Scotland are well placed to support cancer survivorship but they need to flourish and need to be supported in many ways and we are looking forward to seeing new developments

Dr Katie Robb has an excellent track record of research in cancer screening and early diagnosis. In 2018 she won the Scottish Cancer Foundation Prize and Evans Forrest medal for her work on   improving the earlier diagnosis of cancer and reducing inequalities for cancer patients. Looking forward, for her means…

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Malcolm Chisholm looks forward to the good things to come in 2021 and beyond

Today’s blog is from @MalcolmChisholm1, one of the directors at the Scottish Cancer Foundation. Malcolm is also known to many as previous MP for Edinburgh Leith and also Minister for Health in the Scottish Parliament at the start of the 21st Century His commitment to all health matters and cancer related issues remains a key part of his current work (and leisure activities!)

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CMO Gregor Smith looking forwards to 2021

A New Year should always bring inspiration for the months ahead. New Year’s resolutions, Dry January and a time to focus on traditions.

Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland has had a busy, enduring year of figures, stats, debates and more challenges than we care to imagine. But somewhere in those tired dark hours there are some nice looking forward thoughts for sharing:

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For the last day of this year…. looking forward to the share of the feast in 2021

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.”

– Giada De Laurentiis

This year, food hasn’t really had the chance to bring us together. The zoom dinner party,  outdoor picnics, garden barbeques and take away food just doesn’t give us warmth and nourishment for the soul. Working in the field of nutrition and health we are very conscious of the potential  impact of dinner on our bodies … but this year our horizons have broadened to remember what being together and eating together means on many different levels. 

Lorraine Tulloch from Obesity Action Scotland reflects and has a very clear and simple vision for 2021…

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If music be the food of love… Elspeth Banks hopes for 2021

Dark nights, short days, somewhat jaded Christmas feelings and no desire to look backward through 2020 and what might have been? We asked some SCPN supporters to tell us what they look forward to in 2021 and beyond. There are bright horizons ahead – small things, dreams and positive ideas whatever the world throws at us.

The first guest to share her thoughts is Elspeth Banks – a tireless patient rep who has guided, informed and joined SCPN in many activities. 

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Advent – a time for looking forward to healthy, happy days ahead

Appearing now!! Heavily laden advent calenders laced with deep rich sweeties, chocolate, candy, caramels, gum, lollipops, pastilles and praline. Parents, siblings  and grandparents dig deep into pockets to ensure all wee darlings are provided with ‘goodies’ to line tummies, but which also pile on weight and erode growing teeth. Advent is a season when the food industry perfect their marketing techniques to fatten us up and they do it very well! Advent chocolates pave the way for the Christmas feasting of selection boxes, bags of miniatures and giant bars all wrapped up in shiny colours with happy smiling characters.   

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STOP, Swap and GO!

Autumn – the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – a season for reflection and preparation for the winter ahead.

October – the month to Stoptober, Go Sober and look out for #scpnswaptober

There is never a wrong time to quit smoking, reduce or quit alcohol and make changes for a healthy lifestyle. October is as good as any month to reflect and review, and this year there are even more reasons to do everything we can to build our resistance to illness. Lots going on with the Nation’s emotional and mental wellbeing, but being able to make one important change (whether it is stop or a modest swop) provides an opportunity to remember we do still have some control in our lives. 

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Emergency food assistance during the COVID-19 lockdown period

Many people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis received emergency food parcels from the government for the many weeks of lockdown. A recent survey of shielding experience undertaken by Public Health Scotland reported that 7% of respondents said they were struggling to access food that met their needs. Food provides much to our lives not limited just to nutrients. Professor Geraldine McNeill from The University of Edinburgh who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and a second breast cancer in 2010 provides some wider perspectives on food provision.

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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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