Health has been centre stage for the past year. I feel perhaps like many others, I have done a full 360o in terms of my mindset and mental health. When the pandemic hit and Scotland announced its first lockdown we were all a bit shook as to the speed of the sweeping deadly virus Covid-19. The uncertainty and powerlessness of the situation led my mood to spiral and I began comfort eating for the FIRST time in my life. How did I not notice? Emotional eating wasn’t a typical habit of mine. The whole world seemed to have gone to pot. Nothing was normal. I couldn’t see my family. I couldn’t see my friends. Everyone seemed to become really busy. My little boy was growing up fast and I couldn’t share this with anyone. In hindsight I guess I used food as a source of comfort in a time I felt unable to cope. Single parenting a toddler, with no respite, during a pandemic has certainly been tough.Continue reading “Dear Mum… #lookaftermum”
The global pandemic has been dominating the world of Scottish public health, primary care and acute medicine for the past year. We have watched the daily, weekly and monthly figures of cases, hospital admissions and deaths of the millions whose lives have sadly been affected or lost to Covid-19.
There are, on the other hand, many other worries and statistics that have always got less air time. Concerns about cancer diagnosis (especially delayed screening), treatments and recovery may have been severely impacted on many of thousands of people in Scotland during the pandemic, but the details do not regularly appear on our television screens. It is interesting to give thought to what might happen if we did receive daily reminders.Continue reading “World Cancer Day 2021 – Time to think again”
NHS staff in all their many roles have been a key part of our survival in 2020. Whatever profession and what ever tasks have been needed we have seen the benefits of their work. Cancer diagnosis, treatments and care may have been reduced but new ways of working have also emerged and can provide helpful ways approach the challenges that 2021 will bring.
Professor Susan Moug, colorectal surgeon from Paisley shares some of her looking forward thoughts:Continue reading “Professor Susan Moug, colorectal surgeon shares some of her looking forward thoughts”
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.Continue reading “The causes of cancer: implications for policy and practice”
What would you give for an extra ten years of healthy life? A recent BMJ study showed that sticking to just five healthy habits in middle age – not smoking, regularly exercising, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and limiting alcohol – can earn you an extra ten years of disease free life. This is especially significant given that we are all living longer – but often that longer life is accompanied by one or more chronic health conditions.Continue reading “The power of prevention – stacking the odds in favour of a longer disease-free life”
Faecal immunochemical tests for haemoglobin (FIT) are now used in asymptomatic bowel screening programmes and also in assessment of patients presenting with lower bowel symptoms. FIT specimen collection devices have a stick attached to the cap of the tube: this stick has dimples or grooves near the end to collect the correct amount of faeces. Our instructions are simple, namely, “dip the end of the stick into your poo” and “scrape the end of the stick along the sample”, and have pictures of exactly what sample is required. However, many seem surprised at how little faeces is collected, only 2 mg in the FIT used in Scotland for both clinical purposes. Interestingly, some assume that more must be better and do try very hard to give a little (or a lot) extra in the device! To date, very little attention has been paid to this aspect of FIT. Recently, however, a very relevant paper has been published.1
We asked Susan Moug, Colorectal consultant surgeon to tell us what her nomination for paper of the year. In reply, she talked to colleagues working in colorectal cancer and with the help of Dr David Anderson Surgical Research Fellow, RAH Paisley and University of Strathclyde the following paper(s)! are drawn to our attention. Innovation in early detection is greatly needed … watch for more on these techniques
Continuing with our series of recommended reading Professor Callum G Fraser (University of Dundee) has a very clear recommendation with significant practical application
Title: Symptom or faecal immunochemical test based referral criteria for colorectal cancer detection in symptomatic patients: a diagnostic tests study.
Authors: Herrero JM, Vega P, Salve M, Bujanda L, Cubiella J
Monday marked the start of #MensHealthWeek so are WE as a nation doing enough to help men look after their health?! We know when it comes to health, men are less likely to talk to each other about their concerns and are less likely to visit their GP so here are some, perhaps surprising, facts about men… Continue reading “Do We Forget About Men?”