Breast cancer

Comment and queries, mostly about the impossibility of keeping its threat in proportion.

Missing images in cancer: ageing and the old

Cancer is a disease of ageing. This means that the risk of getting it go up as you get older, all the more so after age 50. This remarkable fact goes unremarked – or at least lacks all conspicuous examples - on most cancer charities’ websites.

Airbrush, whitewash or accident? Older women missing from another breast cancer campaign.

The cancer research charity Breast Cancer Campaign has launched a new... ummm.... campaign. You can see it here. The call to action is ‘email your MP’. Then the MP gets information that raises their awareness of secondary breast cancer, the importance of increasing survival and improving service delivery. It boils down to ‘There’s an election next year.

Prostate Cancer: One of the UK's 'biggest man killers'? Really?

Quick! Run after it! The rhetoric's getting away!

I’ve just spotted the following, at the bottom of a job advert in the Guardian, seeking an Information Officer for Prostate Cancer UK.

“We are building Men United, a growing team of men across the UK, to get the message out there about one of the UK’s biggest man killers, to support men affected by it and to raise funds to find more reliable tests and treatments for the future.”

I have just turned down breast screening. Again.

I have just turned down breast screening. Again. Second time of asking; second time of polite refusal. I blogged about the first time I was asked, remarking on several things that struck me as odd and unsatisfactory.  

A woman wonders aloud about Movember.

I’m more MoMotha or MoGran than MoSista these days but I’m legit. as a target for Movember fundraising asks – so I do have a stake in what Movember are up to and I pay attention. Now I’ve stopped taking any notice of its own estimation of its good effects, other reservations have also begun to emerge.

Their tone.

Breast cancer in proportion. Causes of death, in women, UK 2010.

I go on about the popular presentation of cancer and how it must look to most people. It is so mis-informative that it has turned most cancer awareness to nonsense. The chatter of the associated cancer charities wheeling out their legions of slebs yet again seem to tell women that breast cancer is the biggest health problem facing them. 

It is big, but not the biggest. Or the only one.

No idea why but breast cancer charities struggle with screening and informed choice.

I’m training my beady eye on breast cancer charities, picking over their joint response to last week’s outcome of the breast screening review. A bit of context: I refused breast screening last year, based on the inadequate information on risks that was available to me. Now I am better informed via the Review I’ll probably continue unscreened as, for me, the benefit isn’t big enough to risk the risks.

What is the UK prevalence of women overdiagnosed with breast cancer by screening?

The review on breast screening estimates that every year about 4,000 women are ‘overdiagnosed’ with breast cancer. ‘Overdiagnosed’ means that as a result of breast screening a cancer has been identified and treated, but in the absence of screening it would never have threatened life and would have remained undetected in a lifetime. Some of these overdiagnosed women - but neither we nor they know which they are - will be advocates for breast screening when that is both misinformed and misinforming.