My team is happy to be developing Radial Genomics Ltd. As a biochemist, I have never stopped learning and growing since this team, which includes finance, law, engineering, and medical specialties, came together.
On our second date he told me he had cancer. Three weeks later, it turned out to be a false alarm. But after that we lived on borrowed time.
As a society, we like our news fast and our solutions faster, but this week delivered a reminder that problems that made front-page news years back can make for positive updates a decade or so later (albeit hidden on page 23 of the paper). Teen pregnancies are a case in point. Oft-used as the (im)perfect example of 'Broken Britain', it was announced this week that girls aged between 15 and 19 are today half as likely as their grandmothers to become pregnant.
Even though I work for a charity, I am rubbish at asking for money. Sometimes I feel more apprehensive about the fundraising than the actual training. Like most Brits, I have a deeply ingrained irrational fear of 'bothering' anyone. Yes it is a challenge and yes it can be hard work but I have to keep reminding myself that it's so worth it in the end.
We're talking about actual human beings existing in the twilight of grief and primal fear that comes with cancer. And if a lung, bowel, or pancreatic cancer patient feels, in that horrific state of mind, that it'd be easier to have a more socially acceptable cancer like breast cancer... We can't judge that. What are we doing, policing the private fears of terminally ill people now?
This is why the Saatchi Medical Innovation Bill is so important. This bill will give doctors the opportunity to consider new drugs or techniques that could go on to save the lives of people like me. People who at the moment are written off as incurable, where the best I am offered is a comfortable quality of (shortened) life.
I cannot emphasise enough just how far removed I am from those annoying people who are seemingly born with a 6-pack and effortlessly cruise through runs without breaking a sweat. It's all about hard graft for me. Like many 'growing lads', I was a victim of chronic puppy fat/grow baggage at school and running was the last thing I wanted to do.
Notice how climate change is on the lips of every government minister these days. It's as if they haven't been in denial for the last 30 years. The seas warm and rise, houses are flooded, good agricultural land is ruined, and the government limps reluctantly to the rescue - blaming everyone else for the problem.
Charities play a vital role in raising awareness of early diagnosis and hard-hitting campaigns can be effective in this aim. However, charities do have a choice about how to do this, considering the thoughts and feelings of many who could be affected. Yes it has got people talking but at the expense of distress to others and I am not convinced that is a fair or necessary price to pay.
Think of disease in Africa and you maybe think of malaria. But this is not the whole picture. In Africa and across developing countries, people are living longer and their lifestyles are changing. With this shift, a different threat is emerging...
Three years ago, at the age of 29, after taking up the invitation for my regular cervical screening, I received my first abnormal result. The re-test showed mild changes to the cells of my cervix and so I was referred to the hospital's colposcopy clinic for a biopsy. First thing I did? Worry myself stupid!
You might have heard of 'Mindfulness'. A lot is talked and written about its usefulness. But like with so many things, it can feel like a daunting task and yet another thing to invest a lot of energy in, before it can be of any use. Well, it is not necessarily so. Let me explain a bit more.
Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), says in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, that patients should be more pro-active about their health and 'pushier' with their GPs. How realistic is his view, and where does our responsibility towards ourselves as patients start and that of a medical professional end?
When did smear tests become something optional? Something we'd try and squeeze in if we had time? Or do more women need to die from cervical cancer before we get the message? It beggars belief that smear tests - which can help spotlight at-risk women and help prevent cervical cancer - are seen as something that isn't absolutely necessary.
Every day in the UK approximately 900 people get diagnosed with cancer. That works out to be 300,000 every year. In every three people you know, one will develop cancer. A few everyday changes can be made to help you reduce your risk of developing cancer.
This is simply the work of a surly photographer imposing into another celebrity's private life; the photograph was taken on a backstreet while Jennifer was shopping with a friend, she didn't spark up live on stage or television. Celebrity or otherwise, how Jennifer deals with her post-cancer recovery is her business. And hers alone.