Chris Hiley's blog

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.

First day of Blue September in the UK. Cancer. Men. Awareness.

Today is the start of Blue September in the UK. It's a vital initiative that might shift the public discourse on cancer onto a different, more productive track. 

Or not. But I can dream.

Bowel cancer awareness: missing, presumed … well, what exactly?

Yesterday, the BBC news website presented a bowel cancer awareness story, originated by Cancer Research UK, entitled ‘Bowel cancer awareness stubbornly low’. Their tone was a tad patronising - the BBC’s, not CR-UK’s – using the phrase ‘stubbornly low’. ‘Stubborn’ as in ‘asses’, I suppose. Ah yes! The stupid British public.

Pollin’ pollin’ pollin’ ...... Keep them pollsters pollin’ 2

And here's more - on the CR-UK poll on fear and cancer mentioned in the similarly title post just below, numbered 1.

This time CR-UK's Poll missed out the options for us British to be frightened of terrorism, car accidents, murder and plane crashes - alternatives used previously in these ‘Top of the Shocks’ polls. Instead, they stuck a possibly random selection of cancers into the mix - breast, bowel, lung, prostate, malignant melanoma, cervical, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal, leukaemia, brain, and testicular.

Pollin’ pollin’ pollin’ ....Keep them pollsters pollin’ 1

CR-UK has released some non-riot news into August – some polling yet again, on  the unfortunate British and their ‘fear of cancer’. I’ve been here twice before, just like CR-UK, in a couple of posts from 2010.  

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.