Early cancer detection rates declining

Statistics published today show that early cancer detection rates have decreased, falling even further behind the Scottish Government target.
In 2012 the SNP government pledged to increase the proportion of people diagnosed with early stage cancer by 25 percent within three years – with specific focus on breast, colorectal and lung cancers.
But the Detect Cancer Early Staging Data issued by ISD Scotland today shows that those with breast, colorectal or lung cancer, only 25.3 percent were diagnosed at the earliest stage, an increase of only 8.4 percent.
These figures are down from 9.1 percent last year, and well behind the promised 25 percent increase.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
“We all know that early detection of cancer is absolutely vital to ensure the best outcome for patients.
“These worsening figures on early cancer detection are therefore a huge disappointment for all of us in Scotland and represent the total failure of the SNP to fulfil this important pledge.
“The SNP has not only completely failed to meet this target, but the figures are actually getting worse. That’s unacceptable and has to change.
“It is quite clear that the early detection strategy has failed and the SNP must now focus on taking important public health messages directly to the public.
“Scottish Conservatives have been calling for a new approach to public health information campaigns for some time and it’s clear that we need to do far more to help reach individuals especially in economically deprived communities in Scotland to tackle these unacceptable health inequalities.   
“It is absolutely vital that the SNP now focuses on improving early cancer detection, particularly focussing on the most deprived communities.”