Chris Hiley's blog

Branding Cancer

Cancer Research UK’s ‘Race for Life’ is apparently the largest women-only fundraising event in the UK. The description of their premier mass participation event goes on to say that “since 1994, women of all ages and fitness levels across the UK have come together at these inspiring events to walk, jog or run 5k to help beat cancer.” Sounds great fun. I sometimes run, though I prefer a 10k.

Think 'person' sometimes, not just 'man' or 'woman'

Information that resonates because of your gender is not the same as its significance to you as a person.

Prostate Cancer and a revised version of Newton’s 3rd law of motion

For each and every fact about prostate cancer there is a equal and opposite fact. This means 'sound bite' prostate cancer awareness is impossible, though no one considers they should stop trying. Campaigns about prostate cancer have to stretch meanings or abbreviate them, to make them fit. March is the next prostate cancer awareness month and this year's key messages will soon be around so we can see what they are. 

….Talking ‘bout my generation.... THEY won’t talk about ageing….

There are three things to keep in the back of your mind when reading this. They are a) over one third of new cancer diagnoses are in men and women who are aged 75 years and older b) over half of all cancer related deaths are in men and women who are aged 75 years and older and c) recent scandals involving death or neglect in the NHS have been almost exclusively concerned with failings in the care of older people.

What could it possibly have been?

Overheard outside Westfield shopping centre on Saturday. Three men, employees of London Transport, chatting. First one "That's Buddhists. It's Buddhists". Second one. "No, Catholics." Third one "Yes, right. It's definitely Catholics."

I didn't hear any more. Puzzled. What could it possibly have been?

Confused about cancer and body weight? You will be.

Considering the number of cancer awareness days, weeks and months, and the ubiquity of human interest cancer case studies in the popular press, you’d think the public would be filled up to here with comprehensive knowledge about cancer. Not so.

The treachery of spoons

A letter in a recent (January 5  2010) Annals of Internal Medicine, by Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum has shown kitchen spoons can get tricky. Taking cold medicine with ordinary domestic spoons resulted in underdosing by 8.4% using a medium-sized spoon, and overdosing by 11.6% using a larger spoon.

Donations to cancer research – have they ever run aground on NICE?

Someone with a grip of basic science and drug development may be able to answer this question. Has NICE ever refused to approve drugs where their earlier development was based on charitable donations to cancer research? As the sums of money involved run into the millions and are our own Great British tax and charitable pounds,  there’s good reason to consider it. So I release my speculation into the wild, for investigative journalists to run with, if they, and the notion, have the legs.

"I hope that screening for Alzheimer's will be available on the high street within five years."

"I hope that screening for Alzheimer's will be available on the high street within five years." So says Professor Francesca Coredeiro,  from University College London Institute of Ophthalmology in this BBC news story about a new technology that seems to work in mice and is shortly to be tested in humans for the first time.

High street? Screening? Alzheimer's? ............. Seriously?

Rude health for men: When’s a good time for bad language?

The language of health promotion can be serious, professional and neutral in tone. Sometimes there’s a special explaining voice. Vaguely nannyish, occasionally sisterly. It does grate if you have read enough of it. It can be anodyne, assiduously monotone, plodding and largely without humour. It is not without style. That is the style.