Breast Cancer Now welcomes the Scottish Government's Cancer Strategy, which commits to stop deaths from breast cancer by 2050.

Tuesday 15 March 2016      Campaigns and policy Scotland
Scottish Government shares Breast Cancer Now’s bold ambition on breast cancer deaths

The UK’s leading breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Cancer Strategy.

Beating Cancer in Scotland: Ambition and Action” states that the Scottish Government is committed to “stop anyone dying from breast cancer by 2050” – a vision driven by Breast Cancer Now. The Scottish Government is the first administration in the UK to make such a bold commitment.

The strategy, which sets out a vision for the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and after care for people with cancer in Scotland, also reflects key proposals contained in the charity’s 2050 Challenge campaign with promises to:

  • Continue the Detect Cancer Early (DCE) Programme for breast cancer
  • Take steps to improve lifestyle support for women when they attend breast screening with £1 million to roll out effective intervention measures
  • Take forward an independent review into access to new medicines and consider its findings
  • Invest £1 million in a project assessing the clinical effectiveness of cancer medicines in a real life setting
  • Embed research in the ethos of the NHS
  • Improved opportunities to access clinical trials

The document also commits the Scottish Government to working to improve access to off-patent drugs for new uses; something Breast Cancer Now called for through its Unlock Drugs campaign.

Breast Cancer Now’s Scotland Director, Mary Allison, said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s bold ambition on breast cancer. They are the first Government in the UK to make an explicit commitment to our vision to help stop deaths from the disease by 2050.

“A huge thank you also has to go to the supporters of our 2050 Challenge campaign, who urged MSPs to act – they helped make this happen.

“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government over the coming years to make sure that this ambitious plan makes a real difference to people with breast cancer and their families.”

Other key commitments relevant to breast cancer include:

  • Investment of up to £5 million in new activity targeted to improve outcomes by addressing health inequalities, including in screening
  • Working with Breast Cancer Now to explore how best to improve the screening programme
  • Complete the roll-out of digital mammography to all breast screening centres in 2016
  • A £39 million investment in radiotherapy equipment
  • £11 million for training and staff to ensure that advanced radiotherapy techniques “become the norm"
  • Introduction of Oncotype DX testing to try and better target chemotherapy in breast cancer
  • Investment to support improvements in surgical treatments
  • A target that by 2021 all people with cancer, who need it, will have access to a specialist nurse during and after their treatment and care
  • A £3.5 million investment to improve training and education for those delivering palliative care
  • Better data collection on secondary cancers to improve support
  • Continued investment in research infrastructure

Read the Scottish Government's Cancer Strategy in full here.

More information

Find out more about our 2050 Challenge campaign in Scotland by visiting our campaign page

Read our news story: First Minister commits to leading the way in stopping breat cancer deaths by 2050

Read our blog: You’re making our 2050 Challenge click with MSPs