Women's health

Not just breasts! There is more to women than that.

Ladyparts? That's my brain, isn't it...? It is, isn't it? You mean my BRAIN, don't you? Go on, it is, isn't it?...

A couple of months ago I spotted an advert on a District Line tube train. It was for a ‘Love your ladyparts’ leaflet from Macmillan Cancer Support. Symptoms and cancer, for women. Health promotion, on the face of it. I didn’t have time to note the text number to message before I got off but there are some traces of the leaflet on the web.

You can see its front page here. https://www.ladyparts.org.uk/

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.

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.  

NEWS: Woman points out she hasn't got all the answers on men's health. Movember 'surprised'

Here’s more from me about Movember and women. Using text copied from this page for the women of Movember termed MoSistas - what follows are some occasionally serious observations on semantics. The italicised text is mine.

I'm not hinting at misogyny this time - not in every comment - but I do wonder about their blithe assumption that women have an innate facility for dealing with health issues. Women's or men's. Nope. We don't. 

“Get involved MoSistas

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.

This month I’ll mostly be aware of….

Masses! Absolutely masses. Health awareness and charities….. Tch. It’s all gone to nonsense, hasn’t it? There are so many Days/Weeks/Months the concept is just silly, offering little of actual use to the audience. Many are only done because it’s ‘what you do’ in broad-brush healthee charidee way.

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.