Women's health

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

Breasts are a poor vehicle for women’s health: might men’s health now turn to bollocks, too?

In the west, women know, for the most part, that they are more than just tits and gynaecology. There are still excursions into the 1970’s courtesy of the brittle muscularity of, say, Sky sports presenters or macho City bankers, plus countless minor infractions every day - ‘I was only having laugh, luv’ - but the underlying principle is slowly becoming mainstream. Women are more than just boobs and hormones.

A SCAM agenda: cancer and women

After chatting to various people about SCAM (Sceptics’ Cancer Awareness Month) I'm starting to think it may be rather a complex idea. This may be because it is, or it could be because I make it sound complicated, by gabbling away about it with too much arm waving and an excess of sentences beginning with ‘….and another thing….’.

Cancer awareness should be all about the audience - the UNaffected public.

The audience for cancer awareness should be the cancer-free general public but cancer charity driven campaigns are actually directed at the user/sufferer/survivor (chose your preferred epithet). Leave awareness to cancer charities and it’s suddenly all about them and their stakeholders – the donors and people with that cancer. They are the constituency that cancer charities know best and to whom they want to show support.

Mini 'links' page to all Sceptics' Cancer Awareness Month (SCAM) content

I know SCAM is attracting some interest so I'll maintain a list of links to cut down on your rummage time to the stuff you might want. Three things so far. Click on 'read more' or you'll lose two out of the three....

3 Questions you may have about Sceptics’ Cancer Awareness Month April 2011 27 Oct 10

I wonder how they know that – and what it means? A snippet on Breast Cancer Awareness Month

“Breast awareness, alongside breast screening, is a vital part of early detection. Our Touch Look Check – TLC message reached 55% of women aged 18 and over through our work for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2008.”

Which cancers count? Men’s or women’s?

Here’s a puzzle. Which is ‘worst’? Being a man with cancer or being a woman with cancer? It’s not a trick question, though I agree it looks like one. One gender does not get ‘easier’ cancers than the other.

Paying the price of Pink: Does breast cancer awareness actually suffer?

As you can tell from previous posts I’ve been thinking about the pink malarkey that surrounds breast cancer. It may be my personal problem. I’m perfectly prepared to own it, if it just mine. I agree my ennui may mean I’m a weirdo outlier. If not, though, that weariness must surely ring warning bells for breast cancer charities? Is there a chance that their activities, hitherto highly regarded, are shading into the counterproductive?

Where did the Daily Mail/Independent BCAM thing come from?

In early September I read my first breast cancer case study of this year’s BCAM crop. Later in September I saw my first pink merchandising opportunity, sighed and my internal monologue lobbed ‘Oh gr-reat. Here we go again’ into my conscious mind. And then I was suddenly cross with myself.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - the response so far.

The piece on Breast Cancer Awareness Month in The Independent and Daily Mail arose because I was trying to interest the Indy in the concept of SCAM – the ‘alternative’ cancer awareness month of April 2011, arbitrarily designated by me as Sceptics’ Cancer Awareness Month.

An early unexpected repeat - Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the Daily Mail

Surprisingly, to me in any case, the Daily Mail have bought and reproduced in slightly edited form the piece in yesterday's Independent where I ask if Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the best we can do for women's health.

This will doubtless prompt combined comment, abuse and discussion on the Daily Mail on-line. If anyone finds their way here from there - welcome.