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Better Cancer Care, An Action Plan

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Foreword by Ms Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon photoCancer will affect most of us at some stage in our lives, be it personally or through the impact it has on a family member, friend or colleague.

Rapid advances in diagnosing cancers and assessing responses to treatment, population screening programmes that identify some cancers at earlier stages, new treatment techniques and advances in radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy all mean that cancer is now very often a long term condition. Many people live with and survive cancer and this brings with it a range of physical, social, emotional and often financial challenges.

Better Cancer Care spells out the actions that we believe are required to support all those in Scotland who find themselves living with and beyond cancer. It confirms that cancer remains a national clinical priority for NHSScotland and looks to partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including the voluntary sector, to improve outcomes for all those who are affected by cancer. This includes a clear commitment to strengthen our approach to cancer prevention and tackling inequalities in both access and outcomes across Scotland.

The response to the national discussion around this plan was excellent. We received around 150 responses, from patients, carers, healthcare professionals, the voluntary sector and other organisations. We also had face-to-face discussions at 19 'road show' events throughout Scotland and a highly successful national conference that was attended by approximately 350 delegates. This plan has been shaped by feedback received and we have used quotations from respondents throughout the document to give a flavour of what we heard.

There is already much to be proud of about cancer care in Scotland and I believe this plan will build on our achievements and further improve services in the future.

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Ms Nicola Sturgeon, MSP
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing