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Scotland is facing a cancer time-bomb with the number of cases set to soar by almost a quarter in less than two decades.

An alarming new forecast suggests the average annual total will increase from more than 34,500 in 2019-2021 to more than 42,000 in 2038-2040.

The report was published by Public Health Scotland using models developed by Cancer Research UK.

Last night critics said the SNP Government must end its ‘complacency’ of long NHS waiting times and staff shortages. Scottish Labour’s health spokesman Dame Jackie Baillie said: ‘Scotland’s cancer waiting times have already skyrocketed and this is only going to get worse unless real steps are taken.

The number of Scots being diagnosed with cancer is expected to soar by nearly a quarter by the year 2040

‘Scottish Labour has called for a proper diagnostic catch-up plan and action to address the workforce pressures but the SNP’s inability to make any headway on this issue is a truly stark indication of failure. The SNP must end the complacency or else risk delays spiralling even further and putting more lives on the line.’

The report says the number of cases of all forms of the disease, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, is predicted to rise by 22 per cent. The rise is mainly due to the population growing older.

As a result, cancer cases per 100,000 people in Scotland are expected to rise from 629 in 2019-2021 to 640 in 2038-2040.

Scottish Labour Health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie described Scotland’s treatment wait times are at crisis point and accused SNP of failing to fix the problem

Lung, breast and bowel cancers will remain the most common forms of the disease. Meanwhile, in the past three months, around 1,100 patients had to wait longer than 62 days between an urgent referral and treatment – one of the worst waiting times performances yet.

A Scottish Government spokes-man said its ten-year cancer strategy ‘takes a comprehensive approach to improving patient pathways, from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and post-treatment care’.

Kate Seymour, Head of Advocacy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘We need to build a cancer system that is fit for the future and mirrors the population it will be serving – older and with more complex needs – otherwise the situation will get worse.’

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: ‘The Health Secretary must bring a new plan to the table which will give patients access to the best chance of recovery.’

Last month the Scottish Daily Mail revealed cancer patients are paying up to £30,000 for private surgery to avoid waiting lists.


Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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