Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First


Oral Cancer

World Cancer Day 2021 – Time to think again


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.

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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. 

Continue reading “The causes of cancer: implications for policy and practice”

The power of prevention – stacking the odds in favour of a longer disease-free life

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”

How young adults can #BeFree and achieve more…

Our co-director Professor Annie S Anderson writes….at age 15 I thought smoking was the coolest thing ever. I dared to be different (along with my small band of pals). Opportunities to smoke were limited – the school bus, at the back of the bike sheds and out on those “healthy” walks. My parents didn’t smoke but they also didn’t mind that I smoked as long as I didn’t set the house on fire. I guess they thought it was a sign of maturity. Smoking started with packets of 10 then progressed to packs of 20 when I started my first job and then roll ups when I became a student.  I remember smoking in my hospital based office in my first NHS post and feeling only slightly embarrassed when any consultants walked in. By the age of 25 I had been through several quit attempts and found new health conscious friends that clearly didn’t think much of smoking and then I found the will power to stop. I kidded on that I wasn’t addicted but for the next 20 years and I still had dreams in which I was smoking and I’d wake worried that I harboured that addictive tendency. Continue reading “How young adults can #BeFree and achieve more…”

Paper of the Year 2017: Linda Bauld

We asked SCPN friends and advisors to tell us about a report/paper/findings/work on cancer screening and prevention that has been published this year and has made them stop and think. The works span a wide range of areas from very detailed scientific investigation, reviews of physical activities, and blogs of model work. We find them a complete inspiration. When only 3% of the NCRI research budget is spent on prevention and virtually nil on implementation research; these papers provide a window on some of the very good reasons why cancer screening and prevention should be a leading part of cancer control research.

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Forgotten Superfoods: “humble vegetables deserve greater promotion” 

Eat plenty of wholegrains, pulses, vegetables and fruits is a very clear message from the European Code Against Cancer  but one that Scots don’t do well on. Despite the familiar 5 a day message our national monitoring programme shows negligible changes in consumption of vegetable from around 126g per day in 2001 to 129g per day in 2012.

Continue reading “Forgotten Superfoods: “humble vegetables deserve greater promotion” “

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”

Oral Cancer – Think Twice

We are always delighted to welcome to welcome a guest blogger to the SCPN blog. Professor Graham Ogden, Professor of Oral Surgery, University of Dundee is our guest blogger this month. Graham is an eminent specialist in Oral Surgery and Oral Medicine who has published widely on the topic of oral cancer.

Why do I need to go to the dentist?

I clean my teeth every day (twice a day in fact), my gums don’t bleed and my teeth don’t hurt. Isn’t that all they check?

Well, no it isn’t…..

Continue reading “Oral Cancer – Think Twice”

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