By Dr David Blane, University of Glasgow
It is estimated that between 30 and 50 per cent of all cancer cases are preventable through healthier lifestyles and avoidance of environmental exposures.[i] The principle modifiable risk factors are smoking, alcohol, obesity, poor diet and inactivity.
To support such discussions, researchers in Cambridge have developed personalised cancer risk calculators, using demographic details and current health behaviours to estimate an individual’s likelihood of developing cancer in the next ten years. They found enthusiasm for providing such personalised cancer risk information in general practice.[iv]
But would the same apply in Glasgow, where health literacy and life expectancy are lower and the prevalence of multiple unhealthy behaviours is higher? To answer this, we are conducting a qualitative interview study, funded by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scientific Foundation Board. The aim is to explore the views and experiences of 10-14 primary care practitioners (GPs and practice nurses) and 14-20 patients (aged 30-60) in relation to cancer prevention and cancer risk discussions in general practice.
The lead researcher is Dr David Blane at the University of Glasgow (firstname.lastname@example.org) and findings should be available in the summer.