What the NHS has provided and had to treat over its existence has changed much more radically than most people realise. Some of this change is rightly the domain of politics, but much is driven in response to changing health needs, improvements in medical science and priorities of society.
Lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma arise from different parts of the white blood cell system. Unlike solid tumours, they can be widely distributed in the body, and this means they need a different approach.
One of the most powerful tools in public health is screening – whether for cancers like cervical or breast cancer, genetic abnormalities, or infectious diseases. Screening can be transformational, detecting disease early and preventing it taking hold.
Ill health has always been concentrated in particular places; tackling these pockets of ill health is an essential role for public health. These may be driven by environmental factors, demography, deprivation and healthcare provision.
The relative role of the State and the individual is a recurring theme of political theory. It is also a practical question in public health – what are the respective responsibilities of government, individuals and healthcare professionals to protect health?
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women, but kills the most people through a combination of being common and currently having much less effective treatment. Both treatment and prevention are currently improving, slowly.