Cancer Reform Strategy

General comment on cancer policy and services in England.

Bowel cancer awareness: missing, presumed … well, what exactly?

Yesterday, the BBC news website presented a bowel cancer awareness story, originated by Cancer Research UK, entitled ‘Bowel cancer awareness stubbornly low’. Their tone was a tad patronising - the BBC’s, not CR-UK’s – using the phrase ‘stubbornly low’. ‘Stubborn’ as in ‘asses’, I suppose. Ah yes! The stupid British public.

Hat tip to Catherine Foot and the King’s Fund

As usual, I was listening to the Today programme, on Radio Four this morning and Catherine was on. Catherine Foot works at the King's Fund. James Naughtie was interviewing her and for the first time I can recall, there was a major cancer story that actually mentions older people with cancer.

What does NAEDI think is the ‘core curriculum’ for cancer awareness?

And if they think it, would they ever spell it out it? I suspect not. How would they know when to stop? I’m not sure they would be at ease implying some cancers are not worth being aware of, and I’m sure they wouldn’t name them explicitly.

'Survivorship', prostate cancer and older men

The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative is rumbling along, part of the Cancer Reform Strategy, the policy prism through which light from the Department of Health and the serried ranks of voluntary sector cancer charities shines on cancer care.

The initiative exists to improve life with and beyond cancer for all survivors. But are the complexities of survivorship approached equally, as they should be, for all men with prostate cancer?

I’m not sure, I’m really, really not sure that they are.

It’s a decades long slog in cancer. ‘The new’ sometimes…. isn’t

The National Awareness and Early Detection Initiative and the National Cancer Survivorship Initiatives are key concepts in the Cancer Reform Strategy, the mainstay of current health policy for cancer. All singing, all dancing. Hugely important. But not 'all new'.

More on older men and women, cancer and the Cancer Reform Strategy. This time - cancer awareness

The baseline report on the Cancer Awareness Measure was published by the Department of Health in November last year and gives the results from two national surveys using the CR-UK Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM). The CAM was developed as part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) to implement the Cancer Reform Strategy.

National Cancer Survivorship Initiative Vision

The Department of Health and the NHS have been battling with cancer care for many years. The Cancer Reform Strategy (CRS) was launched at the end of 2007 and follows on from the Cancer Plan, introduced in 2000 to improve cancer outcomes in the UK. The CRS identifies several groups at risk of experiencing inequality in provision of, and access to, cancer services such as older men and women, people from black and minority ethnic communities and socially and economically deprived populations.

….Talking ‘bout my generation.... THEY won’t talk about ageing….

There are three things to keep in the back of your mind when reading this. They are a) over one third of new cancer diagnoses are in men and women who are aged 75 years and older b) over half of all cancer related deaths are in men and women who are aged 75 years and older and c) recent scandals involving death or neglect in the NHS have been almost exclusively concerned with failings in the care of older people.