I think most of us are aware by now that alcohol is harmful, in fact a survey in 2013 showed that 84% of Scots thought alcohol causes either a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a lot of harm in Scotland.’ They’re correct to think this, however what may be less well known is the link between alcohol and cancer. Alcohol is carcinogenic, which means it causes cancer and in 2015 more than one in four alcohol related deaths were from cancer in Scotland. It is important to understand that no amount of alcohol is ‘safe’ and no type of alcohol is better or worse than another. Additionally drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer whether you drink it all in one go or a bit at a time. Therefore for cancer prevention it’s best not to drink any alcohol. Continue reading “Save Water, Drink Kombucha”
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.
These days, it feels as though we can either be productive or live an active life. It doesn’t seem possible to fit both in to our day. With evidence suggesting that spending long periods of time sitting (independent of physical activity levels) increases cancer risk, it’s about time we became more active. So is there any way we can have the best of both worlds? Well, I’m glad to be the bearer of good news: the Pomodoro writing technique might just be what we are all looking for!
The relationship between obesity and cancer has been well described…and well ignored! Exposure to excess body fat will contribute to increased risk of some of the most common cancers including bowel and breast. Yet, few agencies working in the cancer settings (including the NHS) bring this to the attention of the millions of people who are in contact with healthcare every day. Many think it is a duty of care for people to be given advice on how to “stack the odds” against cancer occurrence (and recurrence) and that we deny people the opportunity to be supported to reduce cancer risk.
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.
As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we’re running a series of mini-blogs from cancer experts. Here’s the final instalment from Debbie Provan.
I would like the public to know that healthy lifestyle choices are still important after a diagnosis of bowel cancer, and that whole families can work together on this. Whilst those being treated for bowel cancer may have some dietary restrictions placed upon them as a result of treatment, in general people should aim to eat a well balanced diet, keep physically active and maintain a healthy body weight Continue reading “Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: Working Together To Stay Well”
A recent paper1 in the British Medical Journal on Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cancer, reminds us of the significant relationship between colorectal cancer and metabolic abnormalities. Indeed, an accompanying editorial by Satija et al2 concludes that “because of the rising incidences of both diseases worldwide action is needed for both clinical and public health communities to follow appropriate cancer screening guidelines among people with diabetes with a greater emphasis on lifestyle modifications”. But no one says it is important that diabetes screening guidelines should be a followed among people with raised risk for colorectal cancer.
A New Year means new chances to start new things. Opportunities to identify and live dreams, make resolutions for changes and a time to think of future visions. Re-considering ways of life is often one part of those visions and taking control over health behaviours such as eating and drinking.