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Detect Cancer Early

The Detect Cancer Early Programme is an ambitious programme of work to improve survival for people with cancer in Scotland to amongst the best in other European countries by diagnosing and treating the disease at an earlier stage.

The Detect Cancer Early programme was formally launched by the Cabinet Secretary on February 20, 2012.

Programme Aim:

Overall five year survival for people in Scotland diagnosed with cancer will improve.

The following objectives will contribute to the aim of the programme:

  • To increase the proportion of people with stage 1 disease at diagnosis (as a proxy indicator of survival outcome) and to use performance against a HEAT Target as a lever for whole systems approach to improvement
  • To improve informed consent and participation in national cancer screening programmes to help detect cancer earlier and improve survival rates
  • To raise the public’s awareness of the national cancer screening programmes and also the early signs and symptoms of cancer to encourage them to seek help earlier
  • To work with GPs to promote referral or investigation at the earliest reasonable opportunity for patients who may be showing a suspicion of cancer whilst making the most efficient use of NHS resources and avoiding adverse impact on access
  • To ensure there is sufficient capacity in the screening programmes to meet the expected increase in those choosing to take part
  • To ensure that  imaging, diagnostic departments and treatment centres are prepared for an increase in the number of patients with early disease requiring treatment
  • To strengthen data collection and performance reporting within NHSScotland to ensure progress continues to be made on improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, referral and survival
  • To facilitate further evaluation of the impact of public awareness campaigns on the stage of cancer at presentation and to contribute to research that establishes evidence for the link between late presentation and survival deficit

Programme Board

A representative programme board and supporting sub groups are established. The Detect Cancer Early programme board meets quarterly and approved minutes are available:

Social Marketing

To raise public awareness of this important programme social marketing campaigns will support the Detect Cancer Early programme:

  • Primer 'Don't get scared, Get checked' campaign
  • Breast cancer campaign
  • Colorectal cancer campaign
  • Lung cancer campaign
  • #getchecked

Further details on all of the Detect Cancer Early social marketing activity can be found at www.getcheckedearly.org

Detect Cancer Early Newsletter

A regular newsletter is produced for stakeholders:

Detect Cancer Early is an important priority area for Scottish Government Health Directorates policy aiming to improve outcomes for those Scots diagnosed with cancer. The Taskforce will monitor closely the impact of the programme to ensure that the overall programme is fully evaluated well in advance of official publication of survival outcomes.