Comment on the progress of the National Awareness and Early Detection Initiative part of the Cancer Reform Strategy

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.

'Routes to diagnosis' - cancer, emergencies and the elderly. What do the cancer charities think?

This post combines my interest in cancer awareness with my concerns about the absence of the elderly from most cancer charities’ agendas. I suggest two things. That 1) the single issue cancer charity sector should cast a properly self-critical eye on their role in ‘cancer awareness’ and 2) that it is now obvious that there is such a thing as the wrong kind of cancer patient - and that’s an old one.

Another in the series 'Cancer charities and their woeful polling.'

This should be subtitled 'a case study in how to generate health news in a lazy media, whilst not actually putting a great deal of effort in yourself, either.' 

Cancer Research UK have been at it again, with another piffling survey of the UK public and their seemingly impenetrable ‘ignorance’. Do stop!

Throwing down the gauntlet: Cancer charities and inadequate cancer information for men and women aged 75 and over

I was at an interesting but somewhat passionless National Cancer Equalities Initiative (NCEI) event on 12 March, on oncology decision making in older age. It wasn’t a particularly revelatory set of results – the researchers showed ageist clinical decision making, by oncologists and haematologists.

Who'd have thought it?

Breast screening review? I predict a riot.

Today (26 Oct. 2011) is not the day to be working for a breast cancer charity. Staff will be drafting Press Releases and copy for the websites, the phones will be ringing off the hook, some callers will be distressed, others angry, the press will be pressing and at the back of the staff’s mind will be the uncertainty.

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.

Pollin’ pollin’ pollin’ ...... Keep them pollsters pollin’ 2

And here's more - on the CR-UK poll on fear and cancer mentioned in the similarly title post just below, numbered 1.

This time CR-UK's Poll missed out the options for us British to be frightened of terrorism, car accidents, murder and plane crashes - alternatives used previously in these ‘Top of the Shocks’ polls. Instead, they stuck a possibly random selection of cancers into the mix - breast, bowel, lung, prostate, malignant melanoma, cervical, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal, leukaemia, brain, and testicular.

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.