Ahead of the publication of the Scottish Cancer Strategy, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf attended a discussion event with the Scottish Cancer Coalition.
Brain Tumour Research is a proud member of the coalition, a partnership of voluntary organisations that exists to ensure the needs of people living with cancer are met.
Mr Yousaf MSP began by reaffirming his commitment to cancer, stating it remained “a top priority” of his department. He added that prevention needed to be a bigger part of the Scottish Government’s new health strategy.
The Minister was frank about cancer diagnosis in Scotland, stating that it “doesn’t perform very well compared to other countries, including England, in terms of emergency presentations”. This was something he hopes to address in the upcoming strategy, with an enhanced focus on early diagnosis and better outcomes for young cancer patients. The cabinet minister was also keen on the idea of a joined up four nations’ approach to recruitment from overseas, as well as genomics.
In response to a question about greater awareness of potential signs and symptoms of brain tumours, the Minister spoke about Scotland’s Rapid Diagnostic Centres to quickly diagnose or rule out cancer for those who do not meet existing Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer. The priority, right now, was also “to get through the backlog of the pandemic”.
The Minister ended by stating his “government needed to hit the [UK-wide] targets on 31- and 62-day cancer pathways”.