By Lucy Ashton 

Jackie Baillie met with national bone and soft tissue cancer charity Sarcoma UK recently during Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month.

The Dumbarton MSP and representatives from the charity discussed the work the organisation is doing to take action for children, teenagers and young adults diagnosed with sarcoma. Jackie Baillie is pleased to support Sarcoma UK on raising awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face.

Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body. It is the third most common cancer affecting children, teenagers and young adults in the UK, with a child, teenager or young adult (age 0-24) being diagnosed with sarcoma every day.

Sarcomas have a worse survival rate than average for cancers affecting this age range. Patients are 15 percent less likely to survive for five years than the average cancer affecting children, teenagers and young adults in the UK and sarcoma can be among the deadliest types.

This April, cancer charities from across the UK have come together for the first Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Awareness Month.

The recent event at the Scottish Parliament was attended by MSPs from across Scotland, including Jackie Baillie’s Scottish Labour colleague Neil Bibby who sponsored the event.

Jackie Baillie said: “I’m proud to work with Sarcoma UK to help spread awareness of this rare cancer in young people.

“It is clear to see that more needs to be done to support young people, and to improve their experience through specialised services and research. Change is urgently needed.

“It’s great to see this charity raising public awareness about sarcoma and its symptoms, while funding vital research into better treatments and supporting patients and loved ones through the Sarcoma UK Support Line.”

Sarcoma UK also welcomed Beth Keller, who was 22 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Beth only finished treatment under a month ago, and bravely spoke of her experiences with sarcoma as a young person.

Also in attendance were representatives from Sarcoma UK including CEO Richard Davidson, and Director of Research, Policy and Support, Dr Sorrel Bickley.

Dr Bickley said: “Cancer is different in young people. They have very different needs to older adults facing this disease, so they need a special, tailored approach to improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, care and support.

“The far-reaching impact of cancer does not end when treatment ends. Quality of life and learning to live well with cancer is vital too. The impact of a cancer diagnosis can continue for many years.

“We must raise awareness of the distinct challenges this age group face and improve outcomes for young people with cancer. Sarcoma UK welcomes the support of Jackie Baillie MSP in boosting awareness of sarcoma in teenagers and young people, and putting sarcoma on the agenda in Scotland.”

Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of the body, on the inside or outside, including the muscle, bone, tendons, blood vessels and fatty tissues.   There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma.

Sarcoma UK is a national charity that funds vital research, offers support for anyone affected by sarcoma cancer and campaigns for better treatments. It is the only cancer charity in the UK focusing on all types of sarcoma.

It is now one of the biggest funders of sarcoma research in the UK, having invested more than £5 million to 74 research projects to date. Sarcoma UK has helped more than 3200 individuals who use our support services an average of three times since it was launched in February 2016. 

Sarcoma UK Support Line experts are here for every person affected by sarcoma and can be contacted on 0808 801 0401 or by email to

Top of page: Jackie Baillie is pictured with Beth Keller.

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