Too many people suffer the heartache of losing loved ones to cancer. Everyone will have their own personal stories to tell – stories of courageous fights against the disease, but sadly stories of friends and family taken before their time too. We’ve travelled a great distance over the last ten years, with cancer mortality in Scotland down by 11 per cent. But more needs to be done.
Yesterday the SNP Government set out our new Cancer Strategy – Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action – our £100 million blueprint for cancer care in Scotland over the coming years.
We’re making a firm commitment to tackling cancer by improving preventative care, investing in detection and supporting quicker and better diagnosis, treatment and aftercare.
The plan contains more than 50 actions, including:
- £50 million for radiotherapy equipment, and recruitment and training of specialists
- £10 million to support swift access to diagnosis
- £9 million for better support for patients and their families
- £7.5 million for better surgical treatments
- £5 million to reduce inequalities in the uptake of screening
- £5 million to support waiting times
- £3.5 million to improve palliative care, with targeted action on training and education
Cancer Research UK has called this a “strong plan that will impact on cancer survival in Scotland” – and that is exactly what we are determined to achieve.
When a person is diagnosed with cancer it’s a daunting prospect, for them and for their families, which is why it is so important that we give people support throughout the journey from detection to aftercare.
We aim to reduce inequality in cancer treatment, detect cancer as early as possible, provide a high quality of treatment and support for people to live well with and beyond cancer.
This is our ambition for the next five to ten years. It’s vital investment to help save lives and keep families together for longer. In the fight to beat cancer, we’re determined for Scotland to lead the way.
Shona Robison MSP is Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport