Key Points:

One of the last things I want is for my putrefying colon to descend through my prolapsed rectum and fall in a puddle onto the floor next to where my feet would have been had they not been removed because of the deleterious effect of diabetes.

Not that my feet have been removed, nor do I have diabetes. But it worries me nonetheless, because it could happen.

As more astute readers may suspect, I spend an inordinate amount of time worried about the myriad forms of cancer and other illnesses that might afflict me.

Therefore, in the interests of my health, I concluded this week that the only way to cope with this fear was to stop reading articles about researchers who claim to have discovered ways to prevent me catching cancer, heart disease, or fatness.

The reasons for this are simple and twofold: the stress they cause me by constantly contradicting one another increases my chances of a heart attack, and because I like eating chicken skin.

It was chicken skin that was the turning point, as for the past few years I have largely refrained from this guilty pleasure because I didn't want to die of heart disease.

Now, a study has shown that, by abstaining from the skin of the fowl, I may have increased my chances of contracting cancer of the bladder.

Is there no justice?

The same study declared that people who ate bacon five or more times a week were 60 per cent more likely than non-bacon eaters to develop bladder cancer. I suspect this wouldn't unduly worry people who eat that much bacon, as they would most likely die from obesity before the bladder cancer killed them.

Thankfully, I do not eat that much bacon, nor am I too tall, which it seems is also a factor in illness.

Research from the US has found that men over 1.83m tall are almost twice as likely to develop testicular cancer as men under 1.72m I guess this answers that wearisome question often posed to the loftier chap: "How is the air up there, big fella?" Cancer-causing apparently. But then so, it seems, is living.

And it isn't as if exercise will help. Exercise can be fatal. Never mind the fact that you could be hit by a car, look at the length of the waiting list for hip operations.

It really is enough to drive one to drink, which of course can be beneficial or toxic, depending on the research you read.

I was musing over this conundrum while strolling recently, and so distracted was I that I walked into a Pole. It turns out she was here on holiday. So, despite the chance it will increase our risk of contracting bladder cancer, I offered to buy her a coffee. After all, politeness never killed anyone. Or did it?