Joan McAlpine supports call to improve cancer diagnostics

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Joan McAlpine is backing an appeal to help save the lives of more people with cancer across Scotland. The MSP has lent her support to Cancer Research UK’s ‘Scotland vs Cancer’ campaign by attending a special reception at the Scottish Parliament.

The campaign asks politicians to support a call to ensure cancer patients have quick access to vital cancer tests. It is important that cancers are diagnosed earlier in Scotland – the earlier a person’s cancer is diagnosed, the better chance they have of successful treatment.

Ms McAlpine said:

“Dumfries and Galloway already has an exceptional track record in early diagnosis and treatment, with breast and bowel cancer screening higher than the Scottish average, and waiting times for testing and treatment significantly shorter than the Scottish average.

“However, we cannot be complacent about the devastating impact cancer will have on families in Dumfriesshire now and in the future.

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has this month published a Cancer Strategy to serve as a blueprint for cancer care in Scotland over the next 5 to 10 years, and I welcome the pledge by the First Minister last weekend of an additional £50 million for cancer treatment.” 


The Scottish Government’s new Cancer Strategy contains more than 50 actions, including:

• £50 million for radiotherapy equipment and to support radiotherapy recruitment and training

• £9 million over five years to ensure better support for people with cancer and their families, for example, through Link Workers and other initiatives like Macmillan’s Improving the Cancer Journey

• £5 million to target reducing inequalities in screening uptake

• £7.5 million to support improvements in surgical treatments

• An additional £10 million to support swift access to diagnostics for people with suspected cancer

• £3.5 million to drive improvements across the palliative care sector and to support targeted action on training and education

• £5 million to support waiting times performance


Ms McAlpine added:

“The political drive to beat cancer must match the pace of progress in research, and I was pleased to see the Scottish Parliament rallying behind the new ‘Scotland vs Cancer’ campaign and joining the fight to beat cancer sooner.”


Thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the UK in the last forty years. But with more and more people being diagnosed, Cancer Research UK says determined political action is urgently needed to save more lives.


Photo attached: Joan McAlpine helps to spell out the urgent need for cancer patients have quick access to vital cancer tests when they attended a special Cancer Research UK reception at the Scottish Parliament

Notes to Editors:

About Cancer Research UK


  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, two in four people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.


For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit


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