Women's health

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

Women's Hour: Why are they so certain of the 'success' of breast cancer awareness?

This week i-ve been on i-player. There's a piece on Women’s Hour about cancer awareness campaigns.  Women’s Hour on 9 February 2012 (chapter two) featured a piece on breast cancer campaigning and what men’s health campaigners could learn from it. Inevitably, the prostate cancer lobby, as personified by the CEO of The Prostate Cancer Charity, was the pupil.

Anyone tootling round my posts knows, or will shortly find out, that I think cancer charities’ styling of cancer awareness is bonkers.

Good luck Bowel Cancer UK, with "Care to Share".

Aha! Another mildly daft poll, about the daft British public, women in this case, and their erroneous beliefs on cancer risk, in women. This one is a bread and butter error, arising from the cumulative effect of all dopey, disconnected cancer awareness everywhere. Once more, gender specific cancers are thought of as being a greater problem for a gender (in this case women) than non-gender specific cancers are.

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.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (may exclude any actual health advice and all older women)

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (BCAM) Deep sigh. This is the annual high point of my cancer awareness scepticism, stimulated by breast cancer charities and their crappy business model that muddles awareness for health, with their brand recognition and market share. See legions of my previous posts….

The Care Quality Commission exposes…. nursing leadership fails …. but nothing will change.

The Care Quality Commission has, once again, exposed the low standards of care inflicted on far too many elderly adults in the National Health Service. 20% of sites visited were failing to ensure dignity or nutrition for their patients, or both. One in five.

What do female staff of breast cancer charities do about their own breast screening?

British breast cancer charities are all, as far as I can tell, in favour of breast screening. This will be for two reasons. One is that they are genuinely totally convinced of the value of it and that the benefits for all woman far outweigh any risks. The second reason is more intangible – screening’s usefulness as a ‘Call to Action’ and its symbolic strength as a sign of engagement with breast cancer awareness.

Breast screening - An unCharitable view

Yesterday (Thursday 1 September) I read this piece on the Channel 4 news website. It's about a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine which apparently says says the risks of breast cancer over diagnosis are ‘not made clear’. Ears pricked up.

Breast screening and the individual: there’s no such thing as a purely personal decision.

Goodness knows if anyone has researched the anthropology or sociology of British women’s engagement with breast screening. I don’t feel inclined to search literature today to find out if they have, so I’ll stick with pondering, for now. 

Patient involvement in health advocacy is overrated and dangerous. Light blue touch paper. Retire.

Overrated? Dangerous?  Sometimes, yes. Advocacy by people and patients with a personal connection to a health issue is not an unequivocal good. The public interest is not always well served by involving patients/sufferers in health lobbying.

My first breast screening invitation! I'm now PROPER old

I'm not sure what to make of this. I've just had my first letter inviting me to attend my local West London breast screening unit for a mammogram. Very oddly, the word 'cancer' does not appear anywhere on it. 

Is this:-