On World Cancer Day, Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the strides taken in Scotland to bring cancer down to size since the launch of the ‘wee c’ initiative six months ago.

The wee c, launched by the Scottish Government, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, aims to change the way cancer is viewed in Scotland, in a bid to reduce fear around the disease and boost survival rates.

Thanks to earlier detection, research breakthroughs and treatment advances, more people are surviving than ever before. It’s hoped that more people will present with potential signs and symptoms sooner rather than later, and attend screening when invited as they learn that cancer isn’t what it used to be.

Mr Matheson said:
“Thanks to innovation and investment, there are around 176,000 people in Scotland who have been diagnosed with cancer over the last 20 years and who are still alive.

“Reframing the way cancer is viewed goes hand-in-hand with boosting survival rates and everyone can play a part. If we can raise awareness of what is being done to tackle cancer, we’ll hopefully, in time, be able to address the fear people have in seeing their GP or attending their screening appointment. The earlier you come forward to get checked or screened, the better, it could save your life.

“I am delighted that the Scottish Government will also shortly be publishing their cancer strategy which will set out a range of deliverables to improve cancer outcomes in Scotland over the next five to 10 years. It will include targeted action in prevention, earlier detection and diagnosis, treatment, research, workforce and informatics to support improvements in patient outcomes. Based on evidence of what we know needs to be done it will set out a new vision for cancer care in Scotland putting people at the centre of decision making.”