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Wednesday, 16 November 2016, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

The Prevention of Cancer

Professor Chris Whitty

There is wide variation in how easy cancers are to prevent but greater understanding of modifiable risk factors will lead to many cancers becoming substantially less common in the future. Some, such as cervical or lung cancers are already completely or largely preventable. For a few such as prostate cancer there are no current prevention strategies. For most cancers, however, the risk can be substantially reduced. Finding the right balance between the role of the state and of individuals in preventing cancer is often difficult.


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Christopher Whitty CB FRCP FMedSci is Gresham Professor of Physic (the term for medicine when the post was created in 1597) at Gresham College. He is also Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK Government's Chief Medical Adviser, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and head of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

He still practices as an NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. He is involved in many day-to-day public health decisions for the UK.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession and was previously Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Before becoming CMO he was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and was previously Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health.

Professor Whitty has worked as a clinician and in public health and clinical research in the UK, Africa and Asia. He undertook his postgraduate training in epidemiology, economics and medical law.

The major cancers and their prevention and treatment are the theme for his second series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic.

Professor Whitty's lectures series are as follows:

2020/21 Major Debates in Public Health

2019/20 Cancer: A Fight we are Steadily Winning (series continued into 2020/21)

2018/19 Infections Diseases: The Oldest Enemy

2017/18 Chronic Diseases (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2016/17 Bold Ideas in Medicine (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2014/15, 2015/16 Medicine at the Extremes of Life (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

2013, 2014 and 2016 Imported Infections and Epidemics (as Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health)

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Physic can be accessed here.

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16 November 2016

The Prevention of Cancer
Professor Chris Whitty

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