Last update 12th. June 2004
AS ONE of the 50 cancer experts who contributed to the Cancer 2025 think tank and report, I must point out that the view- that cancer cases will tre-ble in a generation was not unanimous (News, last week).
Cancer is 65% to 80% life-style related. Surely within the next 20 years we can generate both the political and personal will to change radically the inci-dence of this disease, which cur-rently affects one in three and kills one in four? It is a public health catastrophe in developed countries. The main causes are unhealthy diet, 35%, smoking 30%, excess alcohol 5% and lack of exercise 1.5%.
Further to this a minority are due to radiation, excess sun-light, occupational and environ-mental pollutants and arguably the contraceptive pill and HRT. What most of the other cancer experts at this meeting seemed to underestimate is the impact of the holistic health-care revolution.
My own solution has been to create a health creation pro-gramme supported by mentors who coach individuals out of risk into positive health. The next goal is to create a standard for organisations to ensure a safe environment for staff and cultivating an ethos of self-responsibility.
It is a matter of giving motiva-tion and support to get people to change their health-defining behaviours, rather than just giv-ing frightening health warnings which do nothing to help us change.
Dr Rosy Daniel
Integrated Medicine Consultant
Bristol (Former medical director, The Bristol Cancer Help Centre)