Jackie Baillie MSP depends not on how ill you are but where you live.
By Bill Heaney
Dumbarton and Lomond constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on the Scottish Government to do more to close the gap in cancer detection rates between the richest and poorest communities.
New data has revealed that Scotland’s most deprived communities are less likely to have cancers detected early. The percentage of detections for breast, colorectal or lung cancers at the earliest stage (stage 1) within patients from the most deprived communities was just 22.6% in 2017 and 2018.
In NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, more than three quarters of patients did not receive a cancer diagnosis at stage 1. And more patients had their cancer detected at stage 4 than stage 1, putting them at greater risk.
The figures also reveal that the SNP government failed to meet its national early detection target in these cancers.
Jackie Baillie said: “We know that early detection of cancer gives people the best possible chance of survival, so it is shocking to learn that people in the most deprived communities are not getting diagnosed as early as those from better off backgrounds.
“More than three quarters of patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not have their cancer detected at the earliest stage. That is a significant number of people whose chance of survival is being decreased.
“The Cabinet Secretary for Health [Jeane Freeman] must urgently set out how she intends to improve cancer detection and treatment to save lives.”