Chris Hiley's blog

An answer, of sorts, on breast screening

Sometimes you just know when you have made someone's heart sink. When I sent my letter off to my local breast screening unit, asking for a bit more detail on what use breast screening may or may not be to me, I knew they'd roll their eyes and say either out loud or in their heads 'Oh knickers, it's one of those women.'

Still sent the letter tho'. Here's what I wrote:

Dear Dr.

‘Bitten or crushed by other reptiles’

Whilst engaged on a totally different and deeply serious search for data on infant mortality and morbidity I came across some rather more Dadaist health statistics. They were diligently recorded and coded by NHS back office staff, counting hospital admissions as part of the 2009-10 Hospital Episode Statistics for England. Normally you'd think it'ud just be dull old heart attacks and strokes but no! Look a little further .........

Hey! Sniffer dogs for cancer! They're back.

The dogs are back! I love this story. The media love this story and the public do too. Dogs that can sniff out cancer. This time it's Japanese dogs and bowel cancer but it's been skin cancer, bladder cancer and also prostate cancer, where I made my own little contribution to the romance of it all, some years ago. I landed up in a BBC news studio with a golden retriever called Bliss.

My first breast screening invitation! I'm now PROPER old

I'm not sure what to make of this. I've just had my first letter inviting me to attend my local West London breast screening unit for a mammogram. Very oddly, the word 'cancer' does not appear anywhere on it. 

Is this:-

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.

What does NAEDI think is the ‘core curriculum’ for cancer awareness?

And if they think it, would they ever spell it out it? I suspect not. How would they know when to stop? I’m not sure they would be at ease implying some cancers are not worth being aware of, and I’m sure they wouldn’t name them explicitly.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Or not.

Some nice person has been searching my website for information on Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Hello, dear reader and welcome, if that’s you. You won’t find anything much as I don’t think there is a specific Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. I'd have had a tussle with it, if there was one....

A brief excursion away from cancer awareness and into breast feeding

Recent news has re-ignited fevered debate about for the ideal length of time babies should be exclusively breast fed. Current advice recommends (it’s advice, not a rule) that six months is an ideal time. The news covered research that came up with a new suggestion.

A really quite stupid Cancer Research UK/NAEDI survey

Here we go again. I recently wrote a blog entry that included a reference to a dotty Cancer Research UK survey from 2007 that I’d found on their website. I should never have mentioned it as I’ve clearly reminded them about it.

NAEDI and the Department of Health versus the cancer charities

…..except that I doubt NAEDI and the Department of Health think they are ‘versus’ the cancer charities. And as you will find out, I think there should be a bit of ‘v’ in there.