Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“We welcome this strategy that has significant potential to improve the diagnosis, care and experience of people with breast cancer across Scotland. It’s a momentous milestone that better data on incurable secondary breast cancer will now be collected, which we hope will provide long overdue insights - from the numbers of people diagnosed to the treatments they are given.
“However, this is only a first step and ongoing data analysis through an audit will be vital to painting the full picture of secondary breast cancer, so we can guarantee that services are designed to best meet the needs of people living with this devastating disease. With audits announced in all other UK nations, the Scottish Government must now follow suit to ensure secondary breast cancer patients in Scotland are not left behind.
“We applaud the goals set out to achieve earlier and faster diagnosis by modernising the breast screening programme to improve uptake, and cutting waiting times. But specific targets and appropriate funding are needed to match the scale of the challenge ahead.
“Furthermore, for this strategy to come to fruition, more must be done to tackle the immediate and deepening workforce crisis. The Scottish Government must urgently set out how they will ensure enough NHS staff are trained and retained so that breast cancer patients get the best care possible.
“We look forward to supporting the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland, and Health Boards to work together to deliver on these ambitions for anyone affected by breast cancer.”