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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

Ovarian Cancer – challenges and opportunities

Ovarian cancer remains a challenging disease to diagnose, because symptoms manifest late, often when there is spread to other organs. Women may therefore present with diverse symptoms such as breathlessness, bloating , urinary symptoms, heartburn and indigestion. Even though these are common symptoms, if persistent and unexplained, particularly in women over the age of 50, it is important they are not dismissed and that ovarian cancer is considered  1

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New season – but they still want cake!

Schools are back and the season is changing. As we transition from a hot summer to darker autumn days  the need for comforting, warmer food starts to enter our thoughts. Seasonal eating could never be easier than in autumn as we see apples, pears and plums weighing down branches. Tatties, parsnips, and other roots waiting to be lifted and squashes and broccoli ready to colour our plates.  

But still the kids want cake!!

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Scottish Summer Skin – #StaycationHealth

On a sunny day in Scotland – why would you want to be anywhere else? Dark corners are lit, spirits rise and the outdoors beckons. Sunshine is undoubtedly good for our minds and bodies but like many good things, excess exposure can easily tip the balance from good health to poor health.

Sunshine tops up our vitamin D levels which is important for bone health but it also tops the risk factor list for developing skin cancer. These neoplasms are the most common form of cancer in Scotland and include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell cancer and malignant melanoma. Rates are rising (17.9% in 10 years) and notably for malignant melanoma which is the 5th most common cancer in Scotland.

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Staycation eating: ways to stay healthy and develop helpful habits

What are the essential ingredients for a holiday? Sun? Swimming? A change of scene? A lie in?  It’s different for everyone but many of us would consider ‘special’ food and drink an important part of a great holiday.  But as we know, typical ‘treat’ foods are usually the foods which don’t do our health any favours – the ultra-processed foods high in sugar and refined starches, confectionery, cakes, biscuits and ice cream. Fizzy and alcoholic drinks are on the same list. 

So, is there a way to do holiday food without the downside of weight gain or getting into habits which are hard to break when the holiday’s over? Here are a few ideas;

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Active #Staycations

A summer break is an ideal time for recharging your batteries and getting some well-deserved R&R. In our previous blog, we highlighted that holiday time was a great time for investing in yourself. It’s recommended that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, and although we might tend to slow things down a bit whilst on holiday, it is still possible to achieve enough active time.

But how easy is it to stay active whilst on a #staycation? We have a few practical tips from Dr Christos Theodorakopoulos, sports nutritionist and exercise professional to help us plan for active and healthier holidays;

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#Staycation hydration

People can find it easier to be active and eat better on holiday, thanks to the break from routine and extra free time. However, holidays also come with lots of temptations, distracting our eyes from our normal healthy lifestyle behaviours. Of course you’re going to treat yourself (you’re on holiday!) but be mindful of how often you might do this. Holiday time is the time for feeling good, time to invest in yourself, so why not make a few little changes for an extra boost? One habit that most of us are prone to letting slide is keeping well hydrated (I’m not talking about alcohol here!).  

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‘Does giving up booze mean that life is cancelled?’

In 2020, life was cancelled. Covid meant we all had to stop and endure lockdowns, instead of the world vomiting out events and people to meet. We had to – (and for good cause) – amuse ourselves! I wouldn’t say that it is just because the pubs were shut or because Netflix didn’t release new shows fast enough but the restrictions did force me to think about drink; what is it that I actually want to be doing with my spare time? What will actually make me feel good?

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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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Cancer in men living in Scotland – let’s think wellbeing for Men’s Health Week

May 2021 brought the latest report from Public Health Scotland on Cancer Incidence and Prevalence in Scotland

The good news is that over the last decade, the risk of developing cancer in Scotland fell by 5% in men. However, in the decade (from 2019) there were significant increases in rates of cancers of the prostate (up 11%), thyroid (up 42%), liver (up 24%), and kidney (up 21%) and malignant melanomas (up 21%) in Scottish men.

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