Action Kidney Cancer have responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on their new 10-year cancer strategy. The consultation is part of the first phase of engagement on the new strategy and will be followed by a wider stakeholder process, which is likely to run until July. The Scottish Cancer Coalition (of which we are a member) will play a part in this and the engagement process will be shaped and informed by the consultation responses.

Below is a summary of the response that we provided to the consultation, which closed yesterday:

1. The 10-year strategy needs to have clear political leadership and to be fully funded throughout the 10 years. Regular published progress reports would be useful

2. For cancer prevention, Scotland needs to run campaigns to be smoke free by 2032. Also campaigns for a healthy diet and regular exercise will help prevent those cancers where obesity is a risk factor

3. The public needs to be made aware of the risk factors, signs and symptoms of cancer through awareness campaigns. They need to act on these signs and symptoms to improve early presentation and diagnosis, and reduce emergency presentations, which are currently running at 39%. This is especially important for rare and less common cancers, which contribute to 55% of all cancers deaths in the UK. Emergency presentation needs to be reduced to no more than 15%

4. The Detect Cancer Early programme needs to be reinvigorated to include all cancer types and new early diagnosis targets, such as 78% of cancer patients diagnosed at stage 1 and 2 by 2032. There also needs to be a task force to focus on rare and less common cancers to improve the chances of meeting the early diagnosis target. As in England, Community Diagnostic Centres need to be rolled out

5. Treatments need to be accessible to every person with cancer at the time that they are needed to improve outcomes. This is especially important for those with rare and less common cancers who need to be treated in specialist centres. The 62-day cancer waiting time target is met in every part of the country for every cancer type

6. By 2032, everyone with cancer is able to access a needs assessment and personalised care plan to support their health and wider wellbeing needs. Every person with cancer needs access to psychosocial support throughout their cancer journey and directed to cancer charities or support groups that can help them. This is especially important for people with rare and less common cancers

7. Workforce and equipment shortages are addressed so that every person with cancer has access to the specialist workforce they need, when they need it

8. The 10-year strategy needs to address inequalities with respect to the diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer patients, especially with respect to rare and less common cancers

9. The number of clinical trials is increased and health service staff have access to dedicated research time and training. All cancer populations are given the opportunity to take part in clinical trials, especially those with rare and less common cancers

10. Data collection is timely, accessible, standardised and comprehensive and it is analysed and published swiftly to support all aspects of the cancer pathway and cancer research. Data needs to be presented for all cancer types, including rare and less common cancers.

For more information about the new Scottish 10-year cancer strategy, please email Karen.