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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Covid-19

We are all in this together

For some people body image, self-esteem and eating habits can be a struggle all year round – and even more of a strain on the lead up to summer holidays and planning a #staycation. 

A new YouGov survey conducted around the world has reported that 46% of Brits have gained weight during lockdown. More than half of people globally indicated they wanted to lose weight, with 51% reporting that they are trying to lose weight. 

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Walking from home

I’ve now officially been working from home for 15 months. Like many people, initially I embraced the extra free time that working from home gave me; during the first lockdown my activity levels were the best they had ever been. I was spinning each morning as a mock commute, following online yoga classes and using resistance bands to grow stronger. But winter came and with that my mood and motivation plummeted. I’d been stuck in a very big sedentary rut since January – starting the year off in another lockdown is not what my mental health needed. Averaging around 4,000 steps per day I knew I needed to re-calibrate.

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Ready for Re-Entry?

If I asked you how you’re feeling about returning to normal life post-Covid, would you say that you can’t wait or that you’re feeling a bit apprehensive? 

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Vaccines, Vaccines, Vaccines #WorldImmunizationWeek

For most, vaccines are a welcome addition to routine care, but for some they are perceived as dangerous and threatening.  In this blog, we hope to illustrate how vaccines contribute to the health of the population and we will start with their role in cancer control.  The human papilloma virus (HPV) is now recognised as the principle causative factor in cancer of the cervix, anus and oropharynx (mouth and throat).  Because this virus is an infective agent that raises antibodies, its effects can be prevented by vaccination, and thanks to the development of an effective vaccine by Ian Frazer and his group in Australia the virtual eradication of these cancers is now a possibility.  In the UK, all girls and now boys aged 12 to 13 in school year 8 are offered HPV vaccination.  With high adherence to this programme, it is anticipated that cervical screening will eventually become unnecessary and that suffering from a HPV related cancer will become a thing of the past.  However, for this aspiration to be realised, is essential that this protection is extended to the vast majority of the population.

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Easing back to normality

Dr Elaine Cameron, University of Stirling

The Scottish Government has indicated that soon we will be able to visit shops, go to the gym, enjoy libraries and museums, and even meet friends from other households for a meal in a restaurant, with more changes to follow as summer arrives. While this is unquestionably something to look forward to after months of restrictions limiting our day-to-day activities, for many of us this is also a source of acute anxiety. Reasons for feeling stressed or worried will be different for everyone, but it’s important to note that feeling anxious is a normal response to this big shift in our lives. 

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World Cancer Day 2021 – Time to think again

COVID-19

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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Nanette Mutrie MBE of PAHRC gives her thoughts on a better world ahead

Professor Nanette Mutrie MBE is Director of Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) at the University of Edinburgh. She has been a key supporter of the SCPN and reminds us of the many reasons why Physical activity can turn our lives around and impact on planet health.

Could COVID-19 have precipitated actions that might save the world? What a thought! As we experience the reality of social restrictions and economic downturn it is not easy to think that the world could benefit in some way.  Along with that thought must go first and foremost our heartfelt sorrow for the distress and loss of life that the virus has created.  But given the directions to think forward for this blog, this is what happened to my thinking...

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What we CAN do for our wellbeing during the pandemic

Alison Douglas Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland   

Beyond our professional roles we also need to see a way into 2021 that remind us of what we can do (however small) for our sense of wellbeing in this very big and challenging world.

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SCPN’s Annie and Bob look forward to 2021 – WARNING: Contains VERY cute puppy!

Professor Annie Anderson and Professor Bob Steele are the co-directors of the SCPN and Chair and Board member (respectively) of the Scottish Cancer Foundation. As they are married, they share many personal interests, but in addition they work together on many professional activities.

Continue reading “SCPN’s Annie and Bob look forward to 2021 – WARNING: Contains VERY cute puppy!”

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