Scottish Health Council

Apparently there is a “Scottish Health Council“, I hadn’t heard of them until last week. The Council is part of the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and it is their job to evaluate how well NHS boards are taking account of people’s views.  They produce a Newsletter three times a year, this is available in [...]


Does morphine make cancer cells grow?

I am a bit reluctant to write this post as I don’t want to scare people. Morphine based pain killers are often used to treat cancer pain and this recent news report does not change any treatment your consultant or doctor may have prescribed.

This week the BBC news website had a story “Morphine [...]


Technical Difiiculties....

I have been having some trouble with the website, some pages are slow to load.  I’ve also had trouble updating the News section.  Bear with me!


How to complain about the NHS

In light of todays news story about the poor standards of cleanliness at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, now seems as good a time as any to write a post on how to complain about NHS services.

On the 13th of October 2015, the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) visited Foresterhill and examined A&E and wards 11, [...]


Local Research – Preventing Bowel Cancer

Well, almost local, researchers at the University of Dundee have been awarded £1 million pounds to help bowel cancer patients “BeWELL”.  BeWELL is a project to help overweight people reduce their risk of bowel cancer by improving their diet and increasing their physical activity. Professor Annie Anderson, one of the leaders of the study [...]


Exhibition - Aberdeen Satrosphere

If you are looking for something to do this weekend then there is an exhibition on at the Satrosphere (Aberdeen’s Science Centre) called “Where tomorrow begins“. The exhibition runs until Sunday the 22nd of November 2015 and usual admission prices apply.

If you can’t get to the Satrosphere, still check out the website, there [...]


Can you trust a scientist?

The UK government has a website called “Science and Society in the UK“, it is part of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. They want to improve build public confidence in science and improve science communication.

Apparently some expert groups are drawing up “action plans”.  Beyond that, I got a bit confused, I’m [...]


Can you prevent cancer? Is it possible?

Can you prevent cancer? Yes, you can prevent some types of cancer, some of the time.  How is that for hedging your beats?  I could be a politician!

Many people think that getting cancer is solely down to fate.  Some people blame faulty genes, after all, you can’t choose your parents.  Many people think [...]


Support Leukaemia Research in Scotland in 2016

I received the Leukaemia Research Scotland Newsletter today.  If you are interested in leukaemia then I highly recommend it, it’s a 12 page brochure and gives you lots of information on fund raising events and research going on in Scotland.  It really does cover the whole country, very often these publications focus on Glasgow/Edinburgh, [...]


Lung cancer – Why don’t we look for it?

Lung cancer is often discovered at an advanced stage, when it has already spread, this means the survival rate for lung cancer is very low. So why aren’t we doing more about this? We know that smoking causes lung cancers, so why don’t we give smokers an x-ray or a scan to look for [...]


New research -

There are several news reports out today about a new way of turning off cancer causing proteins. These reports are based on a study in the journal Nature called “Direct Inhibition of the NOTCH transcription factor complex“, you will need to pay to read the article in it’s full technical detail, but there are [...]


CLAN in Aberdeen and Area

CLAN, Cancer Link Aberdeen and North is a cancer support service, based in Aberdeen. It’s open to anyone affected by cancer including partners, carers, parents and children. You can read more here.

So what sort of support is available? The centre has a library and you can visit without making an appointment. They have [...]


Fatigue, cancer and “coping”

I am a cell biologist, so I have no great knowledge of psychology. However, several blog posts and essays have recently caught my attention.  Many people with cancer experience fatigue, which is tiredness that doesn’t go away even when you rest.

Fatigue can be caused by lots of different things:

drugs can cause [...]


Books on cancer, health and disease

This post is inspired by the announcment of the winner of the first Wellcome Trust Book prize.  The prize is awarded to outstanding works on the theme of health and medicine.  Both fiction and non-fiction books are eligible.  This year the winner is Keeper by Andrea Gillies, it is a non fiction book [...]


National Pathology Week 2015 – Aberdeen Event at the Satrosphere

Pathology?  Most people think “euch, dead bodies, that doesn’t interest me”. This is a myth, encouraged by crime shows on tv.  Most pathologists work on samples from living people. In fact there are only about 100 forensic pathologists in the UK (the sort beloved of tv crime shows).

Over 70 % of diagnosis in [...]


NHS Grampian Health Plan - Have your say

Now is your chance to have your say on NHS Grampian’s proposed new priorities for the next three years. There is a 13 page booklet called the “GHB Consultation Document” available online, that you can read and send your comments back to NHS Grampian. It’s not too long and most of it is explained [...]


More on microRNAs and why cancer spreads

This is another geeky post.  If you are currently having treatment for cancer the research described in this post will not alter your treatment as this work is being carried out in cells in a laboratory (and not in people) but it is very interesting and will hopefully be used to design new treatments [...]


Medical Talks at Aberdeen University

I thought I’d let you know about three talks coming up at Aberdeen University in November. They are about medicine and disability (not cancer) but all of them look interesting.  The first one is on Friday the 13th of November from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, it is an evening of story telling called “Five centuries [...]