Efforts to tackle cancer aren’t working says charity

Cancer patient being comforted

​Rising rates of cancer in Scotland leads to call for new national strategy 

18th May 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Efforts to tackle cancer in Scotland aren’t working, according to a leading charity as it called for a new government strategy to support patients in Scotland.

Figures show cases of cancer having risen by 14% in the last 10 years in Scotland with Macmillan in Scotland saying they are “a stark reminder” of the growing number of people being diagnosed with the illness.

Some 31,711 people in Scotland in 2014 were diagnosed with cancer, up from 27,820 10 years ago, according to figures from the NHS Information Services Division (ISD Scotland).

Lung cancer remains the most common cancer in Scotland. While rates have fallen by 14% in males they have risen 11% in females, reflecting trends in the prevalence of smoking.

The current system isn't working, which is why the cancer plan must be delivered by the new Scottish Parliament

Breast cancer has risen by 7% though colorectal cancer has decreased by 3% in women and a "significant" 7% in men, with diet, physical activity and long-term smoking thought to be contributing factors.

Elspeth Atkinson, director of Macmillan in Scotland, said: "An ageing population means more of us will be living with cancer and other long-term conditions.

"The figures illustrate the need for a better support service for people with the physical, practical, emotional and financial problems cancer causes.

"The current system isn't working, which is why the cancer plan must be delivered by the new Scottish Parliament."

Gregor McNie, public affairs manager at Cancer Research UK in Scotland, said: "While these statistics show that the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing, the good news is that thanks to research, cancer survival has doubled since the 1970s.

"Cancer Research UK's work has been at the heart of that progress.

"However, we mustn't stop here. The rising numbers of people diagnosed means there is more strain than ever on cancer services and it's vital that the Scottish Government acts swiftly on its £100 million cancer plan and focuses resources where they're most needed."