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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Now Volunteers Raising Awareness of Breast Cancer 

In Scotland, every year around 4,700 people are diagnosed with breast cancer. Raising awareness of breast cancer is key to achieving Breast Cancer Now’s vision that by 2050, everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will live and be supported to live well. To improve survival rates, people with breast cancer must be diagnosed as early as possible, when the chances of successful treatment are at their highest. 

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Dear Mum… #lookaftermum

Health has been centre stage for the past year.  I feel perhaps like many others, I have done a full 360o in terms of my mindset and mental health. When the pandemic hit and Scotland announced its first lockdown we were all a bit shook as to the speed of the sweeping deadly virus Covid-19. The uncertainty and powerlessness of the situation led my mood to spiral and I began comfort eating for the FIRST time in my life. How did I not notice? Emotional eating wasn’t a typical habit of mine. The whole world seemed to have gone to pot. Nothing was normal. I couldn’t see my family. I couldn’t see my friends. Everyone seemed to become really busy. My little boy was growing up fast and I couldn’t share this with anyone. In hindsight I guess I used food as a source of comfort in a time I felt unable to cope. Single parenting a toddler, with no respite, during a pandemic has certainly been tough.

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Reflections on 31 days of a new decade – one drink at a time

Somewhere in a busy life, someone says ‘try something new’. The someone is me, telling myself ‘Slow down, look around at what you see and think hard about what the next decade could bring – do life differently’.

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Turning 50: My experience of breast screening

At 50, my youngest daughter made me call the local breast screening centre to ask if I had missed a letter inviting me to attend. She said “the late birthday card from the bowel cancer unit came within weeks of turning 50…” Happily the screening centre staff offered to give me an appointment but said I hadn’t missed an invitation, it was just that my GP area wasn’t being called in at that point in time.  I went, got an all clear and had one happy daughter.

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The Female Physiology and Breast Cancer – Why Women are Affected by Alcohol More Than Men

The American publication ‘Nutrition Action’’s most recent article highlights issues about women and alcohol by George Koob (Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health), Walter Willet (chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health) and Regina Ziegler (of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics at the National Cancer Institute).

Continue reading “The Female Physiology and Breast Cancer – Why Women are Affected by Alcohol More Than Men”

Dry Drinking The Sociable Way

Every time I show the slide that says “35% of Scottish women aged over 50 drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week,” I am reminded that this includes me.  I would not describe myself as a heavy drinker, but I do drink more than I know is appropriate for my health. From my research on alcohol intake in women and breast cancer risk, I know that I am not alone in being reluctant to discuss the pleasure of red wine consumption with health professionals.

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Auntie Jean and Auntie Norma – Challenges in Cancer Prevention

Everyone knows of an ‘Auntie Jean’. She is the older woman, who liked a good drink, hearty meals, and big puddings and specialises in spectator sport (with feet up in front of the telly). She scores 0 for lifestyle actions for reducing cancer risk. Not a second thought to worrying about health (“the doctor never said I was doing anything wrong“), lived well over the three score years and ten, and dropped dead one day without bothering a soul.

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Cutting Cancer Cases – Ready Steady Go!

More than two thousand years ago Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, noted that if we all had “the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”. In general, all too few of us are following Hippocrates’ advice today.

In cancer terms, we know that 4 in 10 cancer cases in the UK could be prevented largely by changes to lifestyle. In this blog post I’ll be looking at one of these changes: being physically active. Continue reading “Cutting Cancer Cases – Ready Steady Go!”

Reflections on the Breast Cancer Causes vs. Prevention Debate #NCRI2015 Conference

Well, we won the Breast Cancer Now sponsored debate easily and the house supported the motion that This house believes we should stop focussing on the CAUSES of breast cancer and get on with strategies to PREVENT the disease”.

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It was indeed a pleasing win given we had a full house in a conference dominated by molecules, single nucleotide polymorphisms and chemotherapy. All important areas in the mega- challenge of cancer treatments, but let’s face it the challenge of prevention trumps it all and enjoys the least investment.

Continue reading “Reflections on the Breast Cancer Causes vs. Prevention Debate #NCRI2015 Conference”

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