Search

SCPNBlog

Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Category

SCPN

World Cancer Day – time to reflect on cancer prevention

Initially, the headline sounded good… “Decrease in the numbers of cancers diagnosed” – until you read the sub-title about diminished screening services, fear of going to GP’s and reduced access to diagnostic facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic (ScotGov2021)

If only we could decrease the numbers of people getting cancers especially late-stage disease and reduce incidence across all peoples- from poorest to richest from Northern and Southern hemispheres. We focus so much on early diagnosis (ScotGov, staging, 2021) as a way of reducing cancer morbidity (and mortality) but the lens on prevention has got very cloudy in the last couple of years. Focusing on health behaviours at a time when COVID-19 related stress and anxieties have risen has not become easier. We have watched obesity figures increase and greater alcohol consumption across  the Scottish population (SHS,2021).

As COVID-19 recedes it must be time to put health, not disease centre stage. Sadly, there are few vaccinations for preventing cancers – and where these do exist (like cervical cancer) we can see major differences in incidence (NHSScotland, 2022). For the most frequently occurring cancers, lifestyle matters a lot – almost 40% of cancers can be prevented and there might be good reasons for focussing on those cancers that are rising in Scotland which include kidney, prostate and uterus – all of which are obesity related. 

There is, however, increasingly good news as more research shows that weight loss can decrease risk in key obesity cancers including breast and bowel. These findings show that the damage created by excess body fat (and the mechanisms related to cancer development) can be reduced and it’s not too late to make a difference to change health and well-being. Like smoking cessation, weight management provides an opportunity to get some control back into our lives and to plan, one step at a time, how we want to lead in times of lower COVID risk.
The USA have reignited their Cancer moonshot – an ambitious plan to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years. Scotland has been a health exemplar in many ways and now it is time to seriously plan an equally ambitious and equitable cancer reduction plan that can also contribute to diminishing inequalities in health.

Professor Annie S. Anderson & Professor Bob Steele

Here comes summer…with a warning!

It’s cold outside just now. But the days are getting longer and lighter. Thoughts will be turning to the joys of outdoor activities including (possibly unhealthy and alcoholic) barbeques and sun bathing. Also at this time of year, many book their summer holidays in warmer climes, looking forward to rest and relaxation in the sun. Maybe some lucky ones are going abroad for Easter. Continue reading “Here comes summer…with a warning!”

Paper of the Year 2018: Prof Nanette Mutrie

Title: Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participant

There is strong global evidence that being physically active decreases the risk of cancers of the colon, breast and endometrium (uterus). Furthermore vigorous physical activity decreases risk of both pre and post-menopausal breast cancer (https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/physical-activity

Being physically active also decreases risk of diabetes, heart disease and a host of other disorders. Additionally, active living can contribute to good mental health and well-being.

Continue reading “Paper of the Year 2018: Prof Nanette Mutrie”

Healthy Festive Gifts and Giving

Card_Party-page-001Card_Party-page-002

Card_Charity-edit-page-001Card_Charity-edit-page-002Card_Work-edit-page-001Card_Work-edit-page-002Card_Drinks-edit-page-001Card_Drinks-edit-page-002

Card_NewYear-page-001Card_NewYear-page-002

Medical student: What the 12 codes against cancer taught me about cancer prevention

During first year of medical school, I walked in to my nutrition tutorial eating chocolate buttons and I was told off by the person undertaking the session. I proceeded to place the chocolate in my bag, listen to how we need to eat our “five a day” and minimise sugar intake and then left the class to finish off my chocolate. During the first three years of medical school, we are taught about a long list of conditions that result from an unhealthy lifestyle. This comes in contrast with the very little teaching we get on lifestyle modification. So, if my teaching on this topic is limited, how am I expected to embrace this lifestyle myself and subsequently deliver it effectively to my patients? Continue reading “Medical student: What the 12 codes against cancer taught me about cancer prevention”

Dundee: Leading the way on childhood obesity?

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.

Continue reading “Dundee: Leading the way on childhood obesity?”

FIT – Vigilance is Needed to Ensure Validity

To all those using, or planning to use, faecal immunochemical tests for haemoglobin (FIT) in bowel cancer screening programmes, there was some disturbing news last week. In British Columbia (BC), Canada, use of FIT ceased due to a problem with a reagent used in analysis of the samples. On the official website, it is stated that work to resolve this as quickly as possible is underway and the organisers will have a better idea of timing in the next few weeks: however, it could take a number of months for FIT analyses to resume. The details and consequences are very well documented.

Continue reading “FIT – Vigilance is Needed to Ensure Validity”

Shifting Evidence of Breast Cancer in Night Shift Work

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer|World Health Organization (IARC|WHO) concluded that the effects of shift work on the disruption of normal circadian rhythm had a probable link to breast cancer. IARC suggest that our endogenous 24-hour body clocks may be subject to interference by factors such as exposure to light at night, and it’s impact on melatonin levels may be linked to breast cancer. However, a recent meta-analysis led by Dr Ruth C. Travis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concludes that night shift work may actually have very little effect on breast cancer risk.

Continue reading “Shifting Evidence of Breast Cancer in Night Shift Work”

The Exposome: An Optimistic Approach to Cancer Prevention

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.

Continue reading “The Exposome: An Optimistic Approach to Cancer Prevention”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: