Chris Hiley's blog

Prostate cancer in proportion. Causes of death, in men, UK 2010

Similarly to women, men are also afflicted by awareness blight. Gender specific cancers are an easy sell to men too - the unimaginative activists are keen to apply the lessons learned in breast cancer to prostate cancer. It'll certainly bring in the money, though it'll be very selective in how prostate cancer is contextualised. There's loads of stuff which is not gender specific about which men, like women, also really need to know.

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.

Movember and men's health: Moustaches, money and precious little method

Movember supports men’s health. I know this because every bit of coverage about it says it does. I've got doubts about how well the moustaches are doing at this.  

Movember marches on.......

‘Movember’ is nifty, isn’t it? What’s not to like? It's all very positive, bristly fun out there. Yes? Eerrr, no, not all the time actually.

Movember started life as a fundraising ask, in search of a cause to pin itself to. Movember business brains lighted on prostate cancer as the best option, inspired by what they clearly regard as the unequivocal success of the pink ribbon for breast cancer.

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.

n=1 Me, on breast screening

The Review is out. I've just scan read the summary, from The Lancet online and comment in various places.

I was a breast screening refusenik already. Now I will continue to be a breast screening refusenik. But a more confident one....

I am not immune to breast cancer. I know that. Neither am I reckless with my health. I am cross however, that overdiagnosis by breast screening has been warned about since at least 1988, and no one has ever bothered women and their pretty little heads with this.

'Routes to diagnosis' - cancer, emergencies and the elderly. What do the cancer charities think?

This post combines my interest in cancer awareness with my concerns about the absence of the elderly from most cancer charities’ agendas. I suggest two things. That 1) the single issue cancer charity sector should cast a properly self-critical eye on their role in ‘cancer awareness’ and 2) that it is now obvious that there is such a thing as the wrong kind of cancer patient - and that’s an old one.

British public still resolutely stupid re: cancer. Kids join parents in the dark

CR-UK will be pleased. Someone else’s woeful polling has caught my eye. Macmillan Cancer Support are now at it. On September 7 Macmillan announced that the British public are more ignorant than the even most exasperated cancer charities had previously supposed. British kids are ignorant too!