Detect Cancer Early programme success hailed.
The Detect Cancer Early programme – which includes the Sir Alex Ferguson fronted adverts – has been praised by Health Secretary Shona Robison for its contribution towards substantial improvements in the early detection of lung cancer.
The Health Secretary highlighted the success of the lung cancer campaign during the Scotland Against Cancer conference in Edinburgh today. This comes during the annual National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which runs throughout November.
Latest statistics show that the percentage of patients diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage (stage one) has increased by 24.7 per cent since the launch of the Scottish Government's Detect Cancer Early programme 1.
People are around 20 times more likely to survive lung cancer if it is detected at an early stage compared to a late stage 2, which is why the Detect Cancer Early campaign is encouraging people with a three week cough to see their GP in a bid to boost survival rates in Scotland.
Although lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Scotland, it is much more treatable than it used to be. Thanks to advancements in treatments and increased rates of early detection, more people than ever in Scotland are surviving lung cancer.
The Detect Cancer Early programme aims to increase the proportion of people who are diagnosed in the early stages of breast, bowel and lung cancer by 25 per cent by the end of 2015.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Ms Robison said:
"The earlier we detect cancer, the higher the chance of survival.
"We need to get the message out loud and clear that the earlier you come forward to get checked or be screened, the better. It could save your life.
"That is why this increase in early detection of lung cancer is important news. The support and involvement of Sir Alex Ferguson helps show what a difference this kind of clear messaging can make.
"We also know that fear is a barrier to people presenting with potential symptoms and attending cancer screening. To help improve survival rates, this generalised fear of 'the Big C' needs to be addressed.
"Our new initiative, which I launched in August of this year, aims to turn 'the Big C' into 'the wee c' by showing all the positive work taking place across Scotland – from researchers to fundraisers - to bring cancer down to size.
"We will go on investing in early detection and campaigns like this with the clear aim of boosting early detection and improving survival rates even further."
1 Detect Cancer Early Staging Data (2013 & 2014 calendar years combined; published 18 August 2015) compared to Detect Cancer Early Data Baseline (2010 & 2011 calendar years combined; published 28 May 2013), Information Services Division Scotland.
2 Scottish Cancer Registry, ISD, extracted September 2014, based on patients diagnosed in 2005-2007.