Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Pointless headline

In addition to the stream of consultations from Government trawling across the media – there has been no let up in stories on breast cancer – none of them particularly new or revealing. Yesterday morning was no exception. “UK women four times more likely to get breast cancer than Africans” said the Guardian – others narrowed this down to “East Africa”. I am sure that the statistics, such as they are, are probably OK but I refer you to a blog I wrote earlier about the issues facing “Africa” now.

All women in the UK have access to health care. The medical care is there providing they seek it. The earlier they seek it the better their chances for survival. This does not apply to “Africa”. Africa is a continent not a country; there are huge differences in the provision of healthcare in each of the countries and each of the regions in each country and many millions of women have little or no access to healthcare for diagnosis let alone treatment and live and die uncounted.

One of our researchers put this slide together a few years ago and it very neatly encapsulates the risk factors at play. You can work out which are the ones that you have control over and which are outside your control. It may seem irreverent about such a serious subject but a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down – but only one spoon please.

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