Policy and Campaigning

New Cancer Strategy and Action Plan launched in Scotland

The Scottish Government published the long-awaited Cancer Strategy and Action Plan on the 15th of June, 2023.

Scotland’s New Cancer Strategy

Cancer remains one of Scotland’s single biggest health challenges, affecting every one of our citizens in some way throughout their lifetime. 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Over 900 people in Scotland a year are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

For pancreatic cancer patients, early diagnosis is vital to survival. The cancer strategy commits to earlier and faster diagnosis, which we want to benefit pancreatic cancer patients.

The Scottish Government has put the less survivable cancers at the heart of its strategy.

“We will focus on cancer types that are the largest burden and have the worst outcomes. These include lung and other less-survivable cancers (pancreas, liver, oesophagus, brain and stomach) that have seen very little progress in the last five decades” – Cancer Strategy for Scotland 2023-2033.

Over the last year, the Scottish Government has been consulting on its new Cancer Strategy for Scotland, and we are pleased that the Scottish Government has taken on board our suggestions from the consultation submission.

Our proposals which were adopted, include;

  1. Giving primary care staff direct access to CT scans.
  2. Exploring how community pharmacists can support in the early detection of cancer.
  3. Delivering specific education and training for healthcare professionals on cancers with non-specific symptoms
  4. An investment in improving pathways for pancreatic cancer patients.

The new cancer strategy has the potential to allow Scotland to lead the way in the UK for cancer patients if the Action Plan is fully-funded and implemented. The plan will improve the way we diagnose, treat and care for patients across Scotland.

Our Policy and Public Affairs Executive, Megan MacDonald said: “I am pleased steps are being taken with the publication of a cancer strategy. However, people are dying of cancer now. We have waited a year for the cancer strategy, and people want firm commitments from the Scottish Government, not vague statements.”

We hope that the strategy drives forward Scotland’s attempt to be world-leading on cancer survival.

We are pleased that the Scottish Government have taken our suggestions on board and are now looking forward to them implementing the Action Plan.