Campaign to help improve cancer survival rates

A NEW £30 million programme launched by the Scottish Government is set to improve cancer survival rates by increasing the proportion of Scots with cancer who are diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease.

The programme will initially concentrate on tackling the three most common cancers in Scotland: breast, bowel and lung.

Part of ‘The ‘Detect Cancer Early’ programme includes a nationwide social marketing campaign that provides the facts, figures and the means to help people spot the signs and symptoms of cancer as early as possible. The message is clear - by acting quickly on the first signs and symptoms of cancer can increase your chances of surviving the disease.

It’s normal to worry about cancer. Being diagnosed with it is a terrifying thought but the reality is far less frightening.

Results for cancer are much better these days. In fact, twice as many people survive cancer compared to 30 years ago.

The new Detect Cancer Early campaign aims to improve cancer survival rates by increasing the number of Scots diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease. The campaign provides the facts, figures and the means to help people spot the signs and symptoms of cancer as early as possible.

Key facts about cancer:

•The average survival rate for cancer has doubled over the past 30 years.

•Cancer is more common than you might think - more than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime.

•Cancer has been on the increase – the number of cases diagnosed has increased by more than a quarter since the late 1970s.

•Cancer is the number one fear for the British public; feared ahead of debt, knife crime, Alzheimer’s disease and losing a job.

•Half of all people diagnosed with cancer now survive the disease for at least five years.

•The proportion of deaths in Scotland due to cancer has dropped by 15 per cent in males and seven per cent in females in the last ten years.

Audrey Birt, Chair of the Scottish Cancer Coalition, explains, “Detecting cancer early is vital for improving the outcomes for the many thousands of men and women diagnosed with cancer each year. When a cancer is detected early, the more effective treatment can be.”

If you notice any unusual or persistent changes to your body or health, and you’re worried you might have cancer, your doctor wants to see you. So make an appointment as soon as you can.

For more information on cancer and the signs and symptoms, visit NHS Inform at www.nhsinform.co.uk or by phoning 0800 22 44 88.