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.
Christmas is the time of consumption. Some of those extra calories at Christmas are about celebrating and feasting and sharing food and drink with family and friends at this special time – not a time for skimping… But media reports suggest we consume around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day (never mind what we do on Boxing Day, Hogmany, etc.) and it seems like it is too easy for our seasonal consumption levels to get way off balance.
It is also easy to contribute to that excess by giving the usual chocolates and bottles, though there are alternatives and one of these is to think about a ‘pay it forward’ approach to some Christmas gifts.
No one can give the gift of health but we can help support healthy interventions – both by giving and sharing and supporting healthful activities. Whether the gift is the promise of a shared mystery walk, a basket of herbal teas or a basket of yummy fruits and nuts – there are some lovely gifts to help get family and friends through the dark days of winter and achieving those health resolutions.
Mega discussion in the office – can you go to the neighbour’s festive gathering without a bottle of alcoholic beverage and an offering of food?
Well it probably depends on whether you intend to drink or not, who the neighbours are and expectations. Driving (especially for rural dwellers) might also come into the decision. Either way great alternative gift ideas for those neighbours…
Remember those days we used to give big boxes of cigarettes as Christmas presents to the aunts and uncles who smoked? Maybe you don’t, because our culture around tobacco has actually changed!
But I am sure you will recall seeing bumper boxes of chocolates being given to colleagues, friends, and family who struggle with their weight or those extra bottles of fizzy gifts in December. Scots are known for hospitality and generosity and as often happen the poorest give most (my mother would turn in her grave if she knew I did not bring packets of biscuits with me when visiting friends). No one wants to be a kill joy (I still want a box of chocs at Christmas but not 10 boxes!!) and sharing “goodies” is part of the enjoyment of families and friends.
Normal weight is no longer normal. In Scotland, more people are overweight or obese than a healthy weight. The impact of this on our nation’s health and well-being now and into the future is not easily overstated. And general understanding and awareness of this problem has certainly shifted in the past couple of years, which is always a good start. At Cancer Research UK we have a particular interest. If you don’t smoke, then maintaining a healthy weight is most important thing you can do to stack your odds against cancer. Overweight and obesity is linked to 13 cancers and it’s now a top priority for us.
Returning to the office after a jam-packed day of sharing thoughts and ideas; the first thing I wanted to do is reflect on some of my personal highlights as a participant at #dhwdnd yesterday.
Dr Christopher P. Wild, Director at the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was in Scotland last week speaking at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on Monday July 10th 2017 in association with the Scottish Cancer Foundation and the Cruden Foundation. He then made his way to Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee on Tuesday 11th to speak at the annual lecture for the Ninewells Cancer Campaign.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive, ASH Scotland
No Smoking Day is just around the corner on Tuesday 8 March. But why should your organisation take up the baton to promote it?