Quarter of cancers detected early

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Almost one quarter of cancers are detected at the earliest possible stage, according to figures released today.

Statistics released by ISD Scotland show that in 2010 and 2011 23 per cent of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal or lung cancer were picked up at the earliest stage (stage one).

The Detect Cancer Early programme aims to increase the proportion of cancers detected at the earliest stage by 25 per cent by the end of the parliamentary term.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “We know that more lives can be saved in Scotland through earlier detection, as the earlier a cancer is diagnosed the greater the chance it can be treated successfully.

“That is why we launched our Detect Cancer Early initiative last year, which aims to increase the percentage of cancers detected at the earliest stage by the end of the Parliamentary term.

“To do this we need more people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, and for people to participate in our screening programmes, as these are the best ways for cancer to be picked up early.

“We have already successfully run our breast cancer drive, which saw the number of women going to their GP with breast symptoms increase by 50 per cent, we recently launched our bowel cancer campaign, and we plan to run a further lung cancer drive later on this year.”