NHS Western Isle’s contribution to the national Detect Cancer Early programme has been recognised at an event to mark the programme’s three year anniversary.
The ground-breaking £30 million Detect Cancer Early programme has contributed to 24.3 per cent of all breast bowel and lung cancers in 2012 and 2013 being diagnosed at the earliest stages, thanks to the support of cancer clinicians and charities across the country.
High profile marketing campaigns – featuring Elaine C Smith and Sir Alex Ferguson – have also helped raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms and reassured Scots that cancer can be beaten, and often cured, if detected early.
NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts, said: “We’re committed to helping improve cancer survival rates for people in the Western Isles and are pleased to have contributed to the achievements of the Detect Cancer Early programme as it reaches this important milestone.
“Over the last three years, Detect Cancer Early has helped develop innovative projects, increase diagnostic capacity and support clinical posts.
“Locally, patients have worked with us and shared their stories of cancer detection and encouraged others to take up offers of screening. Around 200 women also united to learn how to check their breasts helping to increase awareness of the potential signs of breast cancer.
“It’s essential we continue to raise awareness of the importance of early detection in increasing the number of Scots who survive cancer. The message is clear – if you or someone close to you has concerns - don’t get scared, get checked.”