Joan McAlpine supports call to improve cancer diagnostics


Joan McAlpine is backing an appeal to help save the lives of more people with cancer across Scotland. The MSP has lent her support to Cancer Research UK’s ‘Scotland vs Cancer’ campaign by attending a special reception at the Scottish Parliament.

The campaign asks politicians to support a call to ensure cancer patients have quick access to vital cancer tests. It is important that cancers are diagnosed earlier in Scotland - the earlier a person’s cancer is diagnosed, the better chance they have of successful treatment.

Ms McAlpine said:

“Dumfries and Galloway already has an exceptional track record in early diagnosis and treatment, with breast and bowel cancer screening higher than the Scottish average, and waiting times for testing and treatment significantly shorter than the Scottish average.

“However, we cannot be complacent about the devastating impact cancer will have on families in Dumfriesshire now and in the future.

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has this month published a Cancer Strategy to serve as a blueprint for cancer care in Scotland over the next 5 to 10 years, and I welcome the pledge by the First Minister last weekend of an additional £50 million for cancer treatment.”

The Scottish Government’s new Cancer Strategy contains more than 50 actions, including:

• £50 million for radiotherapy equipment and to support radiotherapy recruitment and training
• £9 million over five years to ensure better support for people with cancer and their families, for example, through Link Workers and other initiatives like Macmillan’s Improving the Cancer Journey
• £5 million to target reducing inequalities in screening uptake
• £7.5 million to support improvements in surgical treatments
• An additional £10 million to support swift access to diagnostics for people with suspected cancer
• £3.5 million to drive improvements across the palliative care sector and to support targeted action on training and education
• £5 million to support waiting times performance

Ms McAlpine added:

“The political drive to beat cancer must match the pace of progress in research, and I was pleased to see the Scottish Parliament rallying behind the new ‘Scotland vs Cancer’ campaign and joining the fight to beat cancer sooner.”

Thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the UK in the last forty years. But with more and more people being diagnosed, Cancer Research UK says determined political action is urgently needed to save more lives.

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