IF you are ever, God forbid, diagnosed with cancer, all you really want to know is whether you’ll live.
I can’t imagine you’d be even slightly interested to hear that it’s a common variety of cancer, and nor would you be especially cheered if the doctor stood up and said: “Congratulations. You’re the first person ever to get it in the toenails.”
But for some extraordinary reason, there actually is a top 40 hit parade for cancer.
So let’s cue the Led Zep, and head over now to Smashie and Nicey for an update.
“Breast cancer remains in the No1 spot, with prostate cancer close behind. But bowel cancer is narrowing the gap fast and this week moved to No3, overtaking lung cancer which, since smoking became less popular, is now on the wane.”
Bowel cancer’s rise is alarming. The number of cases shot up by ten per cent between 2019 and 2021, according to NHS figures. And not since Brian Ferry’s Jealous Guy have we seen anything zoom up the charts as quickly as that.
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Globally, it’s now the second leading cause of death from cancer. So what’s going on? According to experts, no one knows for sure what causes the bowel to become cancerous. Whereas the internet, which knows everything, says it’s a combination of alcohol, global warming, the military industrial complex and Mrs Thatcher.
Tofu and juiced vegetables
As usual then, it falls to me to come up with an explanation. So here goes.
Bowel cancer has always been a sort of Gallagher and Lyle in the cancer charts. An Ultravox, if you will. So what’s changed in recent years to make it a genuine contender for the No1 spot?
Diet. It has to be. The internet agrees, of course, saying that if you eat red meat, you will definitely die in screaming agony by next Tuesday.
But people have been eating red meat since before the invention of fire so that seems unlikely.
What people have not been eating until quite recently are tofu and juiced vegetables and weeds. So maybe that’s the reason for the increase in the number of cases.
I’d love to think so but, realistically, it has to be processed foods. I don’t want to sound like someone you bump into in a queue at the Post Office, but we really are putting an awful lot of crap in our mouths these days.
And half the time, we don’t even know it. A sausage roll and a zesty drink followed by a couple of biscuits might not sound so bad, but as often as not these things contain additives that most of us can’t even pronounce.
And it’s usually the cheaper options which are more harmful.
So that’s my advice really. Eat fresh stuff whenever you can.
And if, after you’ve done a number two, you spot some redness in the stool, don’t assume it’s there because you had some beetroot last night.
Get yourself checked.
Elizabeth is the high point of The Crown
IN the olden days, The Crown was historical and therefore quite interesting.
But I suspect the new series will be just speculative tittle- tattle. And won’t be interesting at all.
I’ll watch it, though, as I have a very strict policy.
If the 6ft 3in Elizabeth Debicki, pictured as Diana, is in something, I’m there.
I’VE never been one of those country bumpkins who slags off London.
I’ve always loved the place and, having travelled a LOT over the past 30 years, I’ve always argued that it’s the best city on Earth.
New York is exciting. Hanoi is fab. So is Biarritz. Copenhagen would be a great place to live and work. And Barcelona knows how to party. But for all-round brilliance, nowhere else gets close to London.
In recent months, though, I have to say it’s changing for the worse. And fast. You can’t get around very easily, there are a lot of empty shops and, worst of all, there’s now a sense that the streets aren’t really very safe. It’s not as bad as Johannesburg or Paris yet, but unless someone gets rid of that dangerously misguided mayor, pretty soon it will be.
Hotel peck-in for me
IN the pandemic – remember that? – lots of people decided that they’d quite like to keep chickens.
So they made a little house in the garden and bought some fencing to keep out Johnny Fox.
And then, after the fox smashed through the fencing and killed the chickens, for fun, they went out and bought some more.
So that’s great. In the morning, you went outside with the kids to collect the eggs and then, in the afternoon, you watched Joe Wicks picking things up and putting them down again.
Now though, the pandemic is over and you want to go on holiday.
So what do you do with the chickens when you’re gone?
It was tricky. But now people are setting up hen hotels. And then charging you 56 bleeding quid a week to house and feed up your birds while you’re away.
Sod farming. I’m going to do that in future.
Suella so boring
I TRIED to read Suella Braverman’s resignation letter, but I’m afraid I got a bit bored at the halfway point and gave up.
Because basically it said: “Dear Mr Rishi. You’re a wee and a poo and you smell”.
And then I read Mr Rishi’s response, which said: “So what? My dad’s bigger than your dad.”
Which is improbable, actually.
It all just sounded like petty squabbling to me.
And it’s not like they’re even bickering about how the country is run.
Because as we learned on Rwanda Wednesday, that’s still being done by some human rights lawyers in Europe.
Crack on as usual
THE last time a volcano belched in Iceland, half the world was caught with its trousers down.
I was in Poland as the ash cloud began to drift southwards, and in order to get home I had to drive to Prague in the Czech Republic and then fly to Paris, where I promised a girl at the airport rental car desk that I would definitely not drive her Renault Espace to England. And then I drove her Renault Espace to England. Where everyone had a similar tale to tell.
You’d imagine, then, that when we received news that Iceland was once again girding its loins for another gigantic ejaculation, we’d all be battening down the hatches.
But no. There are a few pictures on social media of some cracked pavements in the town of Grindavik.
And a mate of mine in Reykjavik has sent me a snap of a broken golf course – proof that God hates this stupid sport – and that’s it.
I find this lack of interest baffling.
Because it’s not like the world has anything else to worry about at the moment.
A LONDON couple who said the noise made by a young family living above them in a luxury block of flats was “torture” have been awarded damages.
This is scary.
Because I too have a flat in London and over the years I’ve ignored a number of noise complaint letters from the man who lives in the apartment below.
One said: “I know that you are a heavy gentleman but could you try to walk around in your flat more lightly.”
That went in the bin.
But now I know I could be sued for making noises, I’m going to have to be more careful.
It’ll be carpet slippers, slimming juices for supper and nothing on the stereo louder than the Carpenters.
Sarah Carter is a health and wellness expert residing in the UK. With a background in healthcare, she offers evidence-based advice on fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being, promoting healthier living for readers.