Eastwood MSP, Jackson Carlaw has hosted a parliamentary drop-in event at the Scottish Parliament for Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day and to highlight the work of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT) to improve symptom awareness and patient outcomes.
The LSCT are campaigning to improve the survival chances for people who are diagnosed with cancers of the lung, liver, brain, oesophagus, pancreas or stomach.
For the Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day on 11th January 2024, the LSCT has published research on patient survival rates and it is based on a new analysis of existing data.
The information shows that out of 33 countries who have similar levels of wealth and income, Scotland is graded as low as 32nd in five-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer, 31st for stomach cancer and 29th for lung cancer.
On the five-year survival figures, Scotland is rated as 25th for oesophageal cancer, 24th for brain cancer and 12th for liver cancer.
Across the UK, approximately 15,400 people will survive for five years after they have been diagnosed with one of the less survivable cancers.
If survival rates were comparable to the top five performing countries, the number would rise to nearer 24,000.
The LSCT is calling for all UK governments to commit to increasing survival rates for less survivable cancers by eliminating avoidable delays in diagnosis and proactively investing in research and treatment options.
Lorraine Dallas, Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce Scotland group, said:
“We know that people diagnosed with a less survivable cancer are fighting against the odds for survival, but the figures we’re sharing today show that those living in Scotland and the rest of the UK have even worse prospects than in comparable countries.
“To change this poor outlook for people across the country, we’re calling on all UK governments to commit to speeding up diagnosis, improving existing diagnostic routes and developing new treatments by investing in research into less survivable cancers.
“If we could bring the survivability of these cancers on level with the best-performing countries in the world then we could gain valuable years for thousands of patients.
“It’s a really positive step to see so many MSPs including Jackson Carlaw supporting our Less Survivable Cancers Awareness Day.”
Scottish Conservative MSP for Eastwood Jackson Carlaw added:
“It is vital to improve patient outcomes and survivability rates for people who are diagnosed with one of the less survivable cancers.
“The Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce is engaged with critical work in this regard and I am pleased to have hosted this hugely important parliamentary event.”
Jackson Carlaw MSP pictured with Lorraine Dallas, Chair of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce Scotland group attached.