Chris Hiley's blog


This blog is mostly about health and charities in the UK. There's quite a lot about cancer though this is due to my interest in its grip on public consciousness rather than any personal interest lying solely within cancer. Neurology, cardiac and respiratory problems are of interest too, as are the men and women who get them. There will be more about ageing and co-morbidities, in time.

I can be particularly cross about the impenetrable and ageist nature of cancer charities' awareness agendas. This is why I do no work in this area. I used to 'believe' in it. Now I don't.

Do search and comment. There may be a delay in getting comments up on the site, as I try and distract spammers with fake handbags to sell. There are RSS feeds for the blog or particular subjects.

I witter on Twitter @ChrisHiley.

Re-tweets do not necessarily suggest support....

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.

Movember 2015 The results are in. Well, my version.....

I keep an eye on Movember. For an important cause that has brought in a lot of money, its health knowledge is marginal. It's incredibly badly articulated and it is imperiously run by its businessmen founders.  

NAEDI did a good thing on older age

The near total absence of older people in the media, news and charity PR that otherwise surrounds stories of cancer - a disease of ageing - is, as any regular readers might know, a deep interest of mine. I’ve spotted an unexpected item in Cancer Research UK’s bragging area, referencing age. Hat tip to them for their role in generating it.   

Who missed out 'appropriate communication expertise' when contracting out a patient-facing referral system?

I have a duff shoulder which needs an ultrasound. This will identify the likely diagnosis and help my GP decide where to stab the steroid injection for best effect.

Has Movember had its Moment in the UK?

Has Movember run out of steam, threatening to seriously unravel as a major funder of prostate cancer research in the UK? Movember was rapidly ascendant but it’s still struggling to achieve some kind of ‘steady state’ income. You’d probably expect some drop off in public support as Movember stopped being quite so novel but it looks as if UK income last Movember may have fallen off a cliff.

What links the following? Encyclopaedias, pinball machines, model ships, a barbershop pole and a deer head.

Movember. That's what.

I can’t really take to Movember. The cause is fine but most aspects of their execution is puzzling or worse. Its whole could be so much better. I’ve always felt there was a content problem – see previous posts. There are several ‘style’ problems too.

Try this one. It's about the American office.

'The Bank of Cancer Research'. What's that all about?

Here’s a thing that caught my eye. The Bank of Cancer Research (BCR). It looks most strange. They want to buy a bank, courtesy of the billionaire philanthropists of The Giving Pledge. I’m not sure where BCR is based – it has no obvious physical address -  but it tweets from Melbourne in Australia. It doesn’t have any country specific vibe, which is why I looked for a clue to its place.

The language of cancer. A language of exclusion

I’ve recently had to think quite a bit about inequality, old age and cancer care. As a result I have been considering the language we use around cancer.

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.