Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First



Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: It’s All About the Shoes

The next installment from Kate Cunningham in her Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian series.

As I left behind the habits of a lifetime I started to think differently. You can be busy and productive and still make time for walking. I write a lot. I enjoy it and it seeks me out no matter where I hide so it part of my working life now. Like many who write I sometimes suffer from the tyranny of the blank page and the challenge of getting it out of my head and onto paper. Rather marvellously I find that walking helps this process.

Continue reading “Confessions of a Converted Pedestrian: It’s All About the Shoes”

Diet and Cancer: The New Traditional and the #HealthyShelfie

I have been struggling with my concept of the “traditional Scottish diet” in terms of meeting The European Cancer Code guidelines for diet advice:

  • Plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits.
  • Limited high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat). Avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid processed meat; limit red meat and foods high in salt.

My understanding of traditional means the foods that can be grown and produced in the country and prepared using long established methods of cooking. In Scottish terms the following items would be a great starting basis for planning healthy eating – with some seasonal variation:

Continue reading “Diet and Cancer: The New Traditional and the #HealthyShelfie”

#HealthyShelfie for Cancer Risk Reduction – The European Code Against Cancer & Some Personal Confessions

January 1st – the great day of planning good intentions.

  • Resolution 1: Agree to open the fridge door and undertake a full inspection of new and old materials left from the party season.
  • Resolution 2: Take stock – survey the potential threats. How many cakes, desserts, double cream, sausages, bacon and cheese lurks between the shelves?
  • Resolution 3: Assess the liquid contribution. How many bottles occupy the fridge door – including liquid candy and alcoholic tipples?
  • Resolution 4: Review the vegetation. Is there any edible vegetable matter remaining in that lower fridge drawer?
  • Resolution 5: Shut your eyes and imagine a healthy scene to help with a week of good intentions:
    • Lots of space to see what is actually in the fridge,
    • A rainbow of veggie and fruit colours to choose from,
    • Home prepared dishes – thick soups and beany casseroles,
    • Large cartons of low fat natural yoghurt, cottage cheese and milk,
    • Fresh fish, chicken, small portion of lean red meat,
    • Water bottles.

Continue reading “#HealthyShelfie for Cancer Risk Reduction – The European Code Against Cancer & Some Personal Confessions”

Papers of the Year: An Innovative Approach to Improving Rates of Bowel Screening in a Disadvantaged Population

Our penultimate blog comes from Prof Bob Steele, Clinical Director, Scottish Bowel Screening Programme and our very own co-director. He has chosen a paper which discusses an innovative approach to improving rates of bowel screening in a disadvantaged population, a challenge that’s very pertinent to us here in Scotland.

Title: Comparative Effectiveness of a Multifaceted Intervention
to Improve Adherence to Annual Colorectal Cancer Screening
in Community Health Centers

Continue reading “Papers of the Year: An Innovative Approach to Improving Rates of Bowel Screening in a Disadvantaged Population”

Papers of the Year: Carcinogenicity of Consumption of Red & Processed Meat

Some papers are buried deep in journals and get little airtime… this summary paper which appeared in the Lancet generated more discussion on diet and cancer prevention than most things published this year and is the “paper of the year” for consultant colorectal surgeon Miss Susan Moug (Consultant Surgeon, The Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley; Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow)

Title: Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat.

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Papers of the Year: Suspected Cancer – Recognition and Referral

This month SCPN has invited regular SCPN newsletter contributors to tell us about what they have been reading on cancer prevention during 2015. We asked for one paper they thought valuable to share. Professor Callum Fraser has contributed a NICE guideline for your enjoyment.

Title: Suspected cancer: recognition and referral

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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”.


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.

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Be Physically Active Every Day and Enjoy #AboutABike

The European Code Against Cancer site provides a clear message, a range of frequently asked questions and a link to the published evidence base on physical activity and cancer risk reduction. So if you plan to talk to folks about cancer prevention and the role of physical activity this is a perfect starting point.

Continue reading “Be Physically Active Every Day and Enjoy #AboutABike”

#AboutABike: City Cycling

I have always for as long as I can remember cycled in cities. As a medical student I bravely rode from University College Hospital in central London over Hampstead Hill to Golders Green. I rode come rain, come shine. It saved me so much money and kept me super fit. It cast a dice for future cycling adventures much later in my life; TransAmerica: Los Angeles to Boston, Cambodia, Rajasthan India, Austria and St Malo to Nice.

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