Detect cancer early

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Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South, has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early Initiative, which is targeting an increase in the early diagnosis of cancer amongst Scots by 25 per cent.

The Detect Cancer Early Initiative was announced by the SNP Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon in March 2011. Since then, £30m has been set aside from the extra £1billion the SNP has committed to the Scottish health budget over the next four years to ensure the country’s cancer detection rate is improved.

Mr Dey said: “Under Nicola Sturgeon’s stewardship of the NHS, in Scotland we have made marked improvements in cancer detection. Not only are we protecting our healthcare system at a time when the budget is being squeezed from Westminster, but we have committed an extra £1billion of funding for our health sector over the next four years.

“Before the election we made a pledge that we would ensure our early cancer detection rates were improved by 25% and the announcement that the Detect Cancer Early Initiative is now in place is excellent news. In the first instance the focus will be on the three most common cancers in the country – breast, bowel and lung cancer – and I am sure the £30m of investment will go a long way to improving the present situation.

“Everyone has been touched by cancer whether it be themselves, a family member, or close friend, and it is vital when we have some of the best healthcare facilities and scientific knowledge right here in Scotland that we advance awareness programmes, screening and treatment for Scots affected by cancer.

“On the same day as the launching of this early detection initiative, a review of the national breast screening programme also begins, the first since the screening began over two decades ago.

“We have made enormous improvements in increasing people’s knowledge and the treatment of cancer in Scotland and I am sure that these two new initiatives will mean great strides are made to ensure Scots are healthier, happier and secure that their healthcare system remains one of Europe’s best.”